by Linda Straker
A Grenada registered boat, recently caught in the act of smuggling goods, was on the weekend intercepted by French authorities. 220 kilos of cocaine were found aboard, with a reported street value of EC$22 million.
The wooden MV Galaxy 1 and its 5-member crew are presently in French custody after they were caught outside of Marie Galante, a small island off Guadeloupe which is governed by France. It is not as yet clear what charges they will face.
This is not the first time that the boat and crew have been in conflict with the law. On Monday, 3 April 2017 within the waters of Carriacou, the Motor Vessel Galaxy 1 was caught in the act of smuggling.
A recent news release from the Customs in Grenada said that the Grenada Coast Guard and the Mobile Anti-Smuggling Team (MAST) of the Customs Department were on a routine patrol in the Northern District when they observed the illegal activities of the vessel in the area outside of Hillsborough. Alcoholic beverages and general merchandise were seized during the operation.
In Grenada, the offence of smuggling carries a fine not exceeding EC$100,000 or the equivalent to 5 times the value of the goods — whichever is greater — or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.
By mid-April, the matter was settled in accordance with the Customs Act. The operators of the boat paid the fine of EC$100,000 and the boat was handed back to them.
The boat, which is registered in the name of Desmond Roberts is used to trade in goods between the islands of Carriacou, St Vincent and the Grenadines unto St Martin.