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Vincentian LIAT pilot charged with drug trafficking

Vincentian LIAT pilot charged with drug trafficking


Vincentian pilot Keith Richard Otway Allen, who was allegedly caught with eight packages of marijuana while passing through the Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados, on Wednesday night, is scheduled to reappear in court on Friday, December 2.{{more}}

Allen, 34, of Arnos Vale, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who also resides at Coverley, Christ Church, Barbados, was declared a flight risk, denied bail and remanded to prison on Thursday, November 24, when he appeared before a Barbados Magistrates’ Court on four charges.

Allen, a First Officer with the regional airline LIAT, pleaded not guilty to drug possession, intent to supply, importation and trafficking, and was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds, Barbados, despite strong objection by defence attorney Keith Robertson.

According to the Weekend Nation, two of Allen’s co-workers, both pilots, sat at the back of the courtroom as their colleague, who was still wearing his uniform – minus the epaulettes – quietly pleaded “not guilty” to each of the four charges read out by Magistrate Laurie-ann Smith-Bovell.

Prosecutor Station Sergeant Glenroy Boyce immediately objected to bail, citing the seriousness of the offences and contending that Allen was a flight risk.

However, defence attorney Robertson, who was holding for senior attorney Sir Richard Cheltenham, QC, argued that while there was no doubt about the seriousness of the charges, his client was not a danger to society and had all reason to show up to court when required.

Allen arrived in Barbados on a LIAT flight from St Vincent around 7:40 p.m. on Wednesday and was arrested by officers from the Drug Squad, who allegedly found two packages of marijuana in his pilot’s bag and another six packages in a pulley he was carrying.

He was wearing his pilot’s uniform, but was not on duty at the time.

A release from LIAT, dated November 25, indicated the company’s full support for and cooperation with law enforcement authorities. The release also said the company intends to conduct its own investigation into the matter.

“The management of LIAT is confident that the overwhelming majority of the Company’s employees continue to respect the laws of their country. It is our hope that the actions of one employee will not reflect negatively on the hundreds of ethical LIAT employees who work hard to serve the public daily,” the release said.