A Vincentian drug smuggler said he became involved in the illegal activity because his family was threatened.
"I got in an incident back home and some people threatened my mother...if I didn't bring this my family would be in blood, so I had to do what I had to do," 23-year-old Kamol Wendell Muckett told a Barbados court on Friday, March 23.
However, this excuse did not save him from facing punishment for importing almost $54, 000 worth of cannabis and cocaine into Barbados on March 22, 2017.
Muckett lives at Union Vale Port Elizabeth, Bequia, St Vincent.
Muckett pleaded guilty to charges of possession of cannabis, trafficking, supplying and importing. Four of the same charges were also related to cocaine.
The cocaine weighed 0.97 kilogrammes and the estimated cost was $45 000; the street value of the cannabis was said to be $5400 and weighed 1.3 kilogrammes.
The prosecution said Muckett was a crew member of the vessel 'Melinda 2' when it arrived in Barbados on March 22. When the Customs, Coast Guard received information regarding the boat, they investigated and found a white plastic bag containing a white substance. Another package carried the cannabis. Muckett admitted ownership of the drugs when questioned by police.
Immigration officer Terry Simmons told the District 'A' Magistrates' Court that Muckett did indeed arrive in the island as a crew member.
"Your time is [usually] valid until the departure of the vessel and my information is that the vessel is scheduled to depart [sometime] today [Friday]," Simmons said.
Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant fined Muckett $15,000 forthwith or face 12 months in prison - this was in relation to the importation charge of cannabis.
For importing the cocaine he was fined $120,000 forthwith with an alternative three-year sentence to run concurrently. He was convicted, reprimanded and discharged on the other charges.