Smoking a ganja spliff (cigarette) led to a whirlwind of problems for a St Lucian national who arrived in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) illegally.
Reports are that on Sunday (June 27) a group was observed smoking and drinking outside.
The group was approached by officers requesting a search of the individuals, noting that their intention was to check for controlled substances.
During the search it was discovered that 26-year-old John Gustav had arrived in the island a month earlier by boat.
Gustav was arrested and charged with knowingly and willing allowing himself to be landed as a prohibited immigrant; entering the state other than at a port of entry; entering the state of St Vincent and the Grenadines as a prohibited immigrant without a passport; and entering the state by boat and disembarking without the consent of an Immigration officer.
The 26-year-old appeared in the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court (KMC) on Tuesday (June 22) where he told the court that he arrived in the island to buy conch.
“Came to buy some conchs sir,” Gustav told the court.
“Tell me how you normally sell conchs in St Vincent?” Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett asked the young man, who noted that it retailed for $10 a pound.
“…Based on the facts, you were here for a month,” the magistrate further probed , “so you came to buy conch for a whole month?”
The judge encouraged Gustav to be honest and truthful with the court, however the 26-year-old stuck to his story.
In addition to the imposition of a fine, it was ordered that Gustav be deported to his native St. Lucia.