UPDATED: Trio charged for drug bust on luxury yacht owned by Goddard Enterprises Limited

By Barbados Today

From left, Chris Rogers, Walter Prescod and Charles Herbert.

(BARBADOS TODAY) – Police have arrested and formally charged three men in connection with Monday’s drug bust at the Bridgetown Port.

They are 55-year-old Walter Oneal Prescod, a sailor, of #107 Emerald Park East, St Philip; 56-year-old Christopher Glenn Rodgers, a company director, of #27 York Road, Navy Gardens, Christ Church; and 62-year-old Arthur Charles Herbert, a company chairman, of Redland Plantation, St George.

The three persons were jointly charged with possession, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and importation of 267 lbs or 121.4 kilogrammes of cannabis with an estimated street value of $534,160 on Monday, July 23.

They were set to appear in the District ‘A’ Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

EARLIER REPORT ON BARBADOS TODAY:

FINAL SUSPECT

Walter O’Neal Prescod

The third person held by police in Monday’s $3 million drug bust aboard the luxury yacht Ecstasy, owned by Goddard Enterprises Limited, has been identified as Walter O’Neal Prescod.

According to multiple sources intimately involved in the four-day long investigation, Prescod, 55, was the third crew member aboard the vessel along with Charles Herbert, the chairman of Goddard Enterprises and head of the Barbados Private Sector Association, and the company’s non-executive director Chris Rogers, all of whom are still being questioned by lawmen.

Since the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) issued a terse press release on Tuesday stating the Drug Squad which had “conducted an operation” on board the vessel at the Bridgetown Port had found “a quantity of marijuana” and “three crew members” were being questioned, the identity of the third “person of interest” had remained a mystery even as Herbert and Rogers were quickly identified, although not by the RBPF.

Goddard Enterprises Limited, which issued a statement yesterday naming Herbert’s deputy William Putnam as acting chairman. It also indicated that the third person was a member of staff.

However, like the police, it did not name the suspect, only stating that it “has become aware of a situation involving its vessel, two of its directors and a staff member, who have been detained by the police”.

It further stated that while no one had been charged, the company was confident that “police are engaged in their usual high standard of investigations and look forward to putting the matter behind them once the facts are fully known”.

“The company wishes to assure all of its stakeholders that it continues to uphold the highest standards of ethics and integrity which have been the backbone of this organization from its very beginnings,” the statement said.

Repeated attempts by Barbados TODAY since Tuesday to verify his identify finally paid off as the sources confirmed today that it was Prescod, who has a previous drug conviction.

He had pleaded guilty and was jailed 12 years back in March of 2001 for importation and possession of 250 pounds of marijuana on March 3, 2000.

Then a 42-year-old fish vendor, he was observed by police conducting surveillance on Porter’s Road, St James, going to and from the beach. Seemingly realizing that he was spotted, he fled, leaving the cannabis in the trunks of two cars, and was later caught by lawmen after a high-speed chase.

In 2005 his attorneys Keith Simmons and Arthur Holder, the current Member of Parliament for St Michael Central and Speaker of the House, appealed the 12-year sentence, contending, among other arguments, that Prescod had been contrite and had made good use of his time while rehabilitating in prison.

Holder is back in the picture in the current case, stating yesterday that he was representing one of the persons of interest in Monday’s drug seizure. However, this afternoon the prominent attorney would neither confirm nor deny if he were representing Prescod in this matter.

“I really don’t have a comment to make on the matter. I cannot say whether he [Prescod] is my client or not,” he said.

Questions have been raised about Prescod’s employment at Goddard, including whether or not the company had conducted a background check. However, the company’s comments on the incident have been limited to its acknowledgement of the situation and its confidence in the police to investigate the matter.

Goddard issued a second statement today insisting that Herbert “still remains the chairman” of the Goddard group and that Putnam “will be acting in the role of chairman until such time as Charles Herbert can resume his official role as chairman of the Goddard Group”.

“Goddard’s continues to support the outstanding work of police in their efforts to bring the investigation to a timely close,” today’s statement said.

The RBPF’s silence since Tuesday’s brief statement has also led to suggestions that the Force was bungling the investigation in this high-profile case.

Of major concern was the fact that police have been questioning the men without charge since Monday, well past the 48-hour legal deadline by which charges should have been brought or the men released.

However, Public Relations Officer of the RBPF Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss told Barbados TODAY the public’s suggestions were unfounded, explaining that such lengthy probes were not unusual in cases of this nature.

“The police are carrying their investigations thoroughly and we need to give them time to carry it out. There is nothing more to update the public on at this time but when we have something, we will update the public through an official media release,” Inniss said.

(8)(3)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

12 comments

  1. Cocaine is one hell of a drug.

    (1)(0)
  2. St Lucia too ! The big people in drugs they never get caught

    (2)(0)
    • oh they get caught. They just let them out since all of them at the top are in it. Remember the big shot here who was caught. Nothing ever came of it. There is another guy invader made a song about. We all know how he got to where he is. BUt...

      (1)(0)
  3. Ok, So it's not only in Lucia that lawyers who send criminals to the streets and not to jail as they deserve sit in parliament and we expect them to make good decisions for us. The quicker NO lawyer is allowed to sit in the house parliament the closer we will reach to rid our island's of political corrupt leaders. This guy defends a man says the man has learnt his lesson. Btw who is he to say that. That same man does the same thing again and he goes back and defends that man to be put back on the streets. Then he goes on a platform and tells the people he is for them and maybe solve the crime problems. Smh, but he putting the criminals back on the streets. the wealthiest people in our society and most corrupt - THE LAWYERS.

    (3)(1)
  4. Joseph, envy is often birthed out the presence of inequalities - in this case, inequalities that are clear and present within the Barbadian society.

    Make no mistake,My Biblical scholar, this is not about judgement, but about privilege, money and a prestige that the majority of us can never take part in. In short, we never hated the players --we only want to express our hatred for the GAME

    Respect

    (1)(0)
  5. So goes the majority of drug related movements in the caribbean...money buys silence...silence keeps peoples belly nice and round, round bellies get lazy and eventually hire the smaller man, what is pocket change for the white collars is a fortune for the average young individual trying to find himself...looking up to the bigger man...right in our faces...it comes in the clothes... Thats all ill say.

    (0)(0)
  6. I doubt their faces would be published, if they were caught here. People need to understand that the drug trade is big money business. Therefore, the big dogs ( politicians and business people) are the ones with the money facilitated by crooks in law enforcement and other government agencies, to invest in such business where big losses are suffered when caught. The small man don't have the money, and simply cannot afford to suffer such losses and are the ones most hungry enough to risk the chance of getting caught. The so called elites are the biggest drug dealers, the crooked ones of course. Just saying.

    (4)(0)
  7. This has brought to the fore that high society are the ones heavily involved in the trafficking of illicit drugs. Police know who they are but are afraid to touch them.

    (12)(0)
  8. Barberella dancers

    Big man gets away , small man paying the price.

    (13)(0)
  9. The dogs! May they rot in hell. Destroying people's lives with their drugs. You see them with big vehicles and fancy houses, always eating out in fancy restaurants, paying big cheques and their children can travel every vacation and is ppl lives they destroy to get there. Dogs. Rot in hell!

    (11)(4)
    • Who are you to judge those men or anyone else? What gives you the right to call them dogs and say they should rot in hell? Are you God or Christ? You know not the circumstances of the drug bust but you are already casting the first stone. I also detect that you are a bit envious of the fact that their children get to travel and they have nice cars etc. It gives the sense that because you do not have yourself that you think they should rot in hell.
      Why don't you wait until the facts are known them we will see and let a court of law decide with a jury of their peers. Of course people like you should not be on a jury.

      (10)(14)
      • Shut your dirty backside Joseph. I can judge them because I know what it is like to have family hooked on drugs.
        For your information I am well to do but I got everything honestly. So STFU!

        (3)(2)
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