Greek Coca Cola heir Alki David has been arrested along with his fellow billionaire business partner after landing in St Kitts on a private jet with actor pal Jonathan Rhys Meyers accused of carrying $1.3 million worth of cannabis on board.
David, 50, and Chase Ergen, heir to satellite fortune, are said to have transported an estimated 5,000 cannabis plants as part of their new business to ‘develop legal cannabis businesses in the region’.
But they were pulled aside by customs officials after landing and said to have been held for eight hours before being let go and then arrested as they tried to leave the island days later.
David’s family business is the Leventis-David group, which owns the Coca-Cola Hellenic bottling plants. It is believed that were carrying hemp clone plants, hemp seeds and Swissx CBD oil products as part of their new venture.
In addition to being the founder of FilmOn.TV and Hologram USA, David also has a business selling oil extracted from cannabis plants, which he markets as a treatment for a range of conditions.
It has been endorsed by celebrities including rapper Snoop Dogg and fashion designer Donatella Versace.
And now appears to have landed him in hot water.
In a statement to The Daily Express St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force confirmed David had been charged with intent to supply, possession of controlled drugs and importation of a controlled drug into the federation.
David told DailyMail.com: ‘Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ mother-in-law and wife were cavity searched. We left the airport after the search but were then arrested after trying to leave the island a few days later.’
David was released after paying bail of $30,000, ordered to surrender all travel documents and is due in Basseterre Magistrate Court Tuesday.
Ergen was then reportedly arrested for drug possession days later after being found with what David claims is medicinal ketamine and remains locked up.
Speaking to the DailyMail.com, David calls his business partner’s arrest a ‘set up’ and said the additional drugs were in fact his medication.
He added: ‘This was his medication for bi polar. He was talking to Prime Minister Harris when he was suddenly arrested. He is going into his second night behind bars.’
A statement from the two men said they were ‘working to make sure the island takes its rightful place as a leader in the world’s fastest growing industry – legal CBD hemp.
‘Our intention is to work with the government, the courts, the banks, the business sector, and the farmers to develop a fair system that creates thousands of jobs on the island and uses Swissx’s international distribution network to make St. Kitts-Nevis cannabis products among the most sought after in the world.
‘It is our intention to quickly see a surge in the nation’s GDP that will benefit everyone. This is an economic development initiative for raising the quality of life in conjunction with local SKN Caribbean partners. Former PM Denzil Douglas is working closely with us.
‘We’ve have met with Prime Minister Harris to talk about coordinating support efforts before we leave next week for meetings in Dominica and other Caribbean island nations that have shown great interest in our cooperative partnership. Those talks have broken down and led to the arrests of David and Ergen. David and Ergen’s legal team has arrived from the UK and will be filing lawsuits against PM Harris and the government this week.’
But lawyer Dr. Henry Browne told The Kitts Nevis Observer: ‘The mere possession of marijuana seeds is not a crime. What is a crime is to have the seeds and to come to an agreement to plant the seeds.
‘Planting the seeds for the purpose of cultivation is a crime. The mere possession of the marijuana plant is illegal.’
In a statement the Office of Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said: ‘Non-nationals would not be permitted to secure advantages over nationals as we set about to build out a marijuana industry.
‘The government has not granted any license to anyone to import plants or seeds into the Federation and that [the] administration has not had any conversation with any foreigner about setting up businesses to trade in cannabis.’
Cannabis Bill, 2019, is set to be passed in St Kitts and Nevis that will allow the use of cannabis for medicinal, religious and recreational purposes, according to the Observer.
David has already hit the headlines this month after he was forced to pay $11 million to a former employee after losing a sexual harassment lawsuit.
DailyMail.com has contacted The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and a representative of Rhys Meyers for comment.