Vincentian pilot Keith Allen on Friday pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges in Barbados (Photo: Barbados Nation).

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Vincentian pilot Keith Allen on Friday told a magistrate here that he was guilty of trying to smuggle BD$130 000 worth of marijuana in eight packets through Grantley Adams International Airport on Nov. 23.

Allen, a first officer at regional airline LIAT, will on Dec. 19 know what penalty the court will hand down on him for importation of the 65 pounds of marijuana.

He was charged with illegal possession, trafficking, illegal possession with intent to supply, and importation of the drug.

The drug was found in Allen’s luggage when he arrived at the airport on a LIAT flight from St. Vincent on which he had travelled, in his pilot’s uniform, as a passenger.

LIAT has said that it is carrying out its own investigation into the matter.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told the Sunday Sun newspaper that he was saddened by the development.

Gonsalves, who is the lead CARICOM prime ministerial spokesman on aviation, said he was equally disappointed that Allen was an employee of LIAT, of which his government is a major shareholder.

“I am personally saddened. I know the family [of the pilot] involved. These are people of good standing, God-fearing people, so this has personally affected me,” said Gonsalves, who is also his country’s Minister of National Security and Legal affairs in Kingstown.

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