St. John’s Antigua- A pilot with regional carrier LIAT appears today in a Barbados court to answer several drug charges after he allegedly tried to smuggle 65 pounds of cannabis into that country.
Members of the Barbados Drug Squad yesterday arrested and charged First Officer Keith Otway Allen with fours offences after the drugs were reportedly found his luggage Wednesday night.
Thirty-four-year-old Allen, a Vincentian national, was charged with illegal possession of cannabis; trafficking in an illegal drug; illegal possession with intent to supply; and the importation of cannabis.
Allen arrived at Grantley Adams International Airport via a LIAT flight at 7:40 pm Wednesday.
Barbadian police say he was in uniform though he was not working.
The illegal substance was found in eight taped packages, in Allen’s luggage, which was in his possession, the Barbadian authorities said.
Further reports indicate that Allen has been employed with LIAT for five years.
Up to press time OBSERVER was awaiting a release from Communications manager Desmond Browne.
However Chairman of the LIALPA, Leeward Islands Pilot Association Captain Michael Blackburn confirmed that Allen is a member of the association, but said in his 33 years flying for the airline, this is the first time any pilot has been accused of drug trafficking.
“We have never had a problem with those types of things. So there is no LIALPA policy on such matters.”
Blackburn said he has no tolerance for any matter contravening the law, especially narcotics.
He added that as far as he knows all the members of the association comply with the country’s laws.