A Greek billionaire and heir to the Coca Cola fortune has been arrested after a search of his private jet uncovered nearly $AU1.9 million worth of cannabis on board, according to multiple reports.
50-year-old Alkiviades “Alki” David was arrested by the Anti-Narcotics Unit at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport on the Caribbean Island of St Kitts after customs officials found approximately 5000 cannabis plants in addition to seeds and a variety of other cannabis products.
He was charged with intent to supply, possession of controlled drugs and importation of a controlled drug into the federation, officials from the St Christopher and Nevis Police Force confirmed.
Mr David claimed the plants on board were “all hemp” and were related to a new venture to start a legal cannabis business in the region.
He and Chase Ergen, the heir to the satellite fortune, announced in April that they formed a consortium aimed at developing the cannabis business in Eastern Caribbean nations such as St. Kitts-Nevis, Dominica and Antigua.
Plans included purchasing agricultural land and partnering with farmers to create a cooperative entity modelled after the ones in Switzerland.
Mr David and Mr Ergen aim to create thousands of jobs and also tap into the rich cultural history and cannabis know-how of the strengthening Rastafarian movement in the region.
The consortium has already had its first meetings with business and government leaders across the region and will be expanding its outreach during May.
Mr David is an heir of the Leventis-David Group, which holds the majority share in Coca-Cola Helenic, Europe’s largest bottling company.
The Leventis family is worth nearly $AU560 million, according to 2018’s The Sunday Times Rich List.
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