A Jamaican man was brought before the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown on Monday charged with possession of 13,995 grammes (30.85lbs) of cannabis with intent to supply.
Novian Travis Vaughn Mullings, 29, is alleged to have had the drugs in a suitcase while attempting to board a flight to Barbados at the Argyle International Airport Sunday night, July 28.
Police have also charged him with possession of the drug for the purpose of drug trafficking and attempting to export the marijuana.
When called upon to plead, Mullings told the court that he does not have legal representation and would like to have a lawyer.
The chief magistrate then engaged him in a conversation, during which Mullings said that he arrived in St. Vincent from Barbados on Thursday and was returning there Sunday night when he was arrested.
He said no one in Jamaica knows where he is or that he had been arrested, adding that he would like to contact persons in both Jamaica and Barbados.
The accused man, however, told the chief magistrate that after his arrest, the police had allowed him to make a phone call and that he was able to contact someone via WhatsApp.
He, however, complained about the quality of the WhatsApp call.
The magistrate stood down the matter for a few moments and when he was recalled, defence counsel Grant Connell rose amicus on Mullings’ behalf.
Mullings then pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Prosecutor Crown Counsel Tammika McKenzie objected to bail, arguing that Mullings was a non-national with no significant ties to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Connell, however, argued that being a non-national is not sufficient ground upon which to object to bail.
He said the value of the drugs was EC$6,000, saying that there is an affidavit stating that the value of marijuana is EC$200 per pound.
The lawyer argued that the value of the drug speaks to the seriousness of the offence.
He said that the drug lab takes up to six months to test marijuana and asked that Mullings be granted EC$6,000 bail.
The chief magistrate said that EC$60,000 cash bail might be more appropriate, but Connell argued that only about five families in SVG might be able to meet such a bail condition.
In the end, the chief magistrate denied bail and ordered Mullings to return to court on Sept. 13, 2019.
He was remanded in custody.