British man fined EC$1,000 for cannabis possession
A 52 year old man from Britain was caught at the Argyle International Airport(AIA) smuggling cannabis in a shoe in his checked luggage last week, but this souvenir cost him close to $EC1,000 in fines by the court.
Calvert Ollivierre a painter, who was born in Campden Park,was caught with 259g of the illegal substance on January 29.
Following this discovery, the 52 year old man was handed three charges- one for having cannabis in his possession with intent to supply, having it for the purpose of drug trafficking, and attempting to export the drug.
The discovery in Ollivierre’s checked luggage was made around 9:55am when he was summoned by an aviation screening officer to the baggage holding area.
A search of his bag revealed a brown taped package inside one shoe. When questioned about the substance, Ollivierre said that he thought it was Moringa(a plant known for its health benefits).
However, when questioned later by the police, he said that he thought the substance in his possession was legal.
Ollivierre, who had no previous criminal record, tried to provide an explanation to Chief Magistrate, Rechanne Browne.
The painter said that he had come for a vacation because he had experienced three strokes in one month.
While here, he said, he had been using a number of herbs, including soursop bush, and Moringa.
“Then I came across this substance which I thought it was legal,” and therefore he intended to take it back with the other herbs in his suitcase.
Ollivierre claimed he had “all kind of bushes in my bag,” and “I thought it was legal but obviously it’s not legal.”
When asked by the magistrate if he had anymore strokes or incidents while he was in the country, he replied that he had not and “I feel much much, much better.”
Senior Prosecutor, Adolphus Delplesche,seemed to detect something amiss in the story, and commented: “he said he thought this was legal, but when you check the area they were found that’s my concern.”
He asked the defendant where in his suitcase he put the Moringa.
Ollivierre responded that it was in the same place where he placed the Marijuana.
“The same part as the weed,” the prosecutor said, repeating Ollivierre’s words, then adding “but why you put it in a concealed area, in your shoe?”
Delplesche pressed him, asking if it was his medicine, to which he responded in the affirmative, so the prosecutor then asked the defendant if he usually puts his medicine in his shoe.
After further questioning, the prosecution asked that the matter be stood down and, when it was recalled, he did not recommend a custodial sentence.
Fines of $330 for possession, and $600 for drug trafficking were imposed by the magistrate, with default prison terms of one and two months respectively.
For attempting to export the drug he was reprimanded and discharged.