There is not enough evidence to support a charge against anyone in connection with the disappearance of a parcel of cocaine from the evidence room at the Narcotics Base in Arnos Vale last year.
“We have investigated the matter, we have discussed the issue with the Office on the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution). Based on the opinion of the Office of the DPP, there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone for that offence,” acting Commissioner of Police, Colin John, a former assistant DPP, told a press conference on Monday, when asked for an update.
No charges will be laid even after each officer in the unit was made to take a lie detector test. This is the information relayed to the media at a press conference in January, by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security.
The disappearance of the drug became public during the December 2017 trial of Union Island residents Harvey Benjamin and Vincent Denbar, who would be convicted of possession of 9,159 grammes (20.2lbs) of cocaine with intent to supply.
During cross-examination, Station Sergeant of Police Catherine Robinson, who was second in command of the Narcotics Unit, said that the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines had sought the assistance of a “foreign agency” to investigate the tampering of evidence at the Narcotics Base in Arnos Vale, from which at least one package of cocaine had gone missing.
In her examination-in-chief, Robinson told the court that on May 26, 2017, she, along with head of the Narcotics Unit Assistant Superintendent of Police, Foster Scott, Sergeant 537 Williams, Corporal 351 Edwards, and Police Constable 293 Francis noticed that the exhibits in the exhibit room had been tampered with.
She said that an investigation was being carried out into the matter and the assistance of a “foreign agency” had been obtained but offered no details about the agency.
Robinson, who had been a narcotics officer for 25 years, was immediately transferred after her testimony, although she was on vacation at the time.
Several other officers had already been transferred from the unit.
The missing parcel of cocaine was among those which Petty Officer Lennox Williams of the SVG Coast Guard had risked his life to retrieve by making four dives in 130-feet of water during a police and Coast Guard operation off West Key, Bequia on July 3, 2014.
Williams received the 2017 police award for bravery in December 2017, days after a jury convicted the Union Island men, who were later jailed for the crime.