Greek Billionaire Alkiviades â€śAlkiâ€ť David was arrested on May 9 on multiple drug charges after flying to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts on a private jet loaded with 5,000 cannabis plants, seeds, and cannabidiol(CBD) valued at $1.3 million. Cannabidiol is a chemical that supposedly has health and wellness properties but unlike marijuana, does not contain any psychoactive properties.
David says he is working to create a major consortium of cannabis growers throughout the Caribbean and wanted to start a farming operation in St. Kitts. Originally detained on May 7, David was formally arrested two days later and bail was set at $300,000. Released the day after his arrest, David jetted back to Burbank, California without his cannabis plants, which St. Kitts and Nevis authorities seized as evidence. David is due back in court on September 23.
David is heir to the Greek Coca Cola bottling fortune and is a major stakeholder in Leventis-David Group. Leventis-David Group owns Coca Cola Hellenic, which bottles the popular soft drink in 28 different countries.
An entrepreneur, David has branched out into multiple businesses, including CBD. â€śThe Eastern Caribbean is in a perfect position as cannabis shifts from being an illegal $400 billion business globally to a legal one worth 10 times that,â€ť he told the Jamaica Observer. â€śIt will be the Silicon Valley of cannabis, the Wall Street, the Hollywood,â€ť he added.
Hereâ€™s what you need to know about Alki David and how his St. Kitts cannabis deal went up in smoke.
1. There Are Differing Accounts as to What Happened in St. Kitts
According to David, he had traveled to St. Kitts and Nevis at the invitation of former Prime Minister Denzil Douglas. Their plan was to meet about developing a major hemp farming operation on the island which would provide jobs and reduce poverty. According to Davidâ€™s spokesperson, he informed authorities in advance that the plants and other items on his personal jet were all legal hemp products.
On the same day as Davidâ€™s arrest, Prime Minister Timothy Harris introduced and had read Cannabis Bill, 2019, in the National Assembly. When successfully passed, the legislation will regulate the use of cannabis for medicinal, recreational and religious purposes. But the legislation is clear that only citizens will profit.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Observer reported that Prime Minister Harris said there were â€ścertain international business predators and pirates, aided by unsavory local elements,â€ť who were attempting to cash in on the countryâ€™s up and coming cannabis crop. â€śNon-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.â€ť
In a Youtube video, David said the arrest was a â€śdumb fucking trapâ€ť and called it illegal. â€śMr. Harris, P.M. youâ€™re going to get a fisting, baby. Literally a legal fisting like no other. Stand by,â€ť he said, speaking directly to the camera.
2. David Owns the CBD Company Swissx
David is the owner of Swissx, a Swiss-based CBD manufacturer. With its slogan â€śFor the Higher Good!,â€ť Swissx offers consumers CBD vape pens, chocolates, sex, and athletic enhancement supplements, pain relief, sleep and beauty products. Swissx claims to have patented a unique technique for extracting cannabinoids from hemp seeds, boasting â€śa CBD that is more pure and potent than other CBD extracts anywhere in the world.â€ť Swissx has endorsements from celebrities including Dave Navarro, Snoop Dog, Scott Disick and Tommy Chong.
On May 13, Swissx and David issued a joint press release. â€śIt is with great respect for the people of St. Kitts â€“ Nevis and the countryâ€™s sovereignty that Alki David, Swissx and their partners are working to make sure the island takes its rightful place as a leader in the worldâ€™s fastest growing industry â€“ legal CBD hemp.â€ť
In addition to manufacturing CBD products, Swissx opened the Swissx Lounge, a club in Hollywood, California. The unique venue is described as having leather chairs, fluorescent cocktail tables, and a stage.
Day passes to the club are $19.95 and monthly memberships are available for $100. Housed in the same space as Hologram USA, guests can enjoy a variety of cannabis items while being entertained by holographic performances.
â€śItâ€™s going great, Iâ€™m having an amazing time. Itâ€™s been fun since I stepped in the building. Iâ€™m actually premiering my new album, Young Carter 2, and I have a lot of close friends in the industry, a lot of family here,â€ť Lil Twist told Shock Ya.com.
In addition to CBD items, Davidâ€™s Swissx Lounge also offers recreational marijuana products, which are legal in California. â€śWeâ€™ve created a safe space to play and chill, to smoke if you want to, and to be entertained. And if youâ€™re visiting L.A. and want to see what the legal weed life is all about, pay us a visit,â€ť David said in a Swissx press release.
3. Davidâ€™s Business Partner Chase Ergen was Also Arrested and Actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers, his Wife & Mother-In-Law Were Also on Davidâ€™s Jet
David wasnâ€™t the only passenger on the plane to run afoul of St. Kitts authorities. Davidâ€™s business partner, billionaire Chase Ergen, was also arrested. In addition to getting into trouble for cannabis, the Anti-Narcotics unit discovered Ergen was carrying Ketamine, a powerful anesthetic that can cause a trance-like state and hallucinations. Ergen claims the Ketamine was prescribed to treat his bipolar depression.
Ergen is the son of Dish Network co-founder Charlie Ergen. Like David, Ergen also has high hopes for creating a major CBD operation in the Caribbean. â€śSt Kitts-Nevis and its neighbors are ideally situated to produce the highest quality CBD in the world,â€ť Ergen said. â€śWe have no doubt we will be able to double their GDPs within a matter of years as the region takes its rightful place in a market that is literally changing peopleâ€™s lives,â€ť he added.
Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers, his wife Mara Lane, along with Laneâ€™s mother, were also passengers on Davidâ€™s plane. Although they werenâ€™t arrested, the trio was detained for eight hours, and Lane and her mother were allegedly forced to undergo a body cavity search. Meyers has not discussed the incident or why he and his family were traveling with David and Ergen to St. Kitts.
4. David Owns a Celebrity Hologram Company
One of Davidâ€™s most popular businesses is Hologram USA, a company that re-creates near life-like performances of dead performers. Some of the holograms the company has created include Michael Jackson, Prince, Roy Orbison, Amy Winehouse and Tupac Shakur. He said that as one of the first hologram companies, it was initially easy to acquire celebrity images. He currently has over 20 holograms of deceased celebrities.
David describes holograms a â€ś200-year-old parlor trickâ€ť that uses angled glass to create an illusion, adding that they are â€śthis incredible, high powered, brightly lit, LED-powered snake oil.â€ť His company has created partnerships with Universal Studios theme parks, Jimmy Kimmel Live and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
In 2014, Hologram USA and its European partner, Musion, projected a hologram of Narendra Modi at more than 800 political rallies across India during his campaign to become the countryâ€™s prime minister. Calling the hologram â€śMagic Modi,â€ť itâ€™s believed to have been the first time holographic technology has been used as part of a political campaign David believes Modiâ€™s win with a 67% majority against a party that had been in power for thirty years was â€śsolely because we orchestrated that whole thing and showed how powerful this illusion can be.â€ť
5. David Was Ordered to Pay $11.1 Million in a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit & Faces A Similar Lawsuit in July 2019
In April 2019, David lost a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former employee Chastity Jones, who worked for his companies Hologram USA and FilmOn.TV. David allegedly fired Jones in 2016 for refusing to have sex with him. Jones, 42, said that David ran his hand up her legs, forced her to watch a pornographic video, and hired a male stripper to appear at a work party.
During opening statements, David screamed out to Jonesâ€™ attorney Lisa Bloom, â€śYou are a â€¦ liar, you are disgusting,â€ť before storming out of the courtroom.
Davidâ€™s attorney Ellyn Garofalo said Jones only complained after she was terminated. According to Garofalo, Jones loved her job and described her office as a â€świld and outrageous place.â€ť After the verdict, Bloom said â€śIt has been one of the great moments of my life to deliver justice to Chastity Jonesâ€ť and that â€śthis is a huge victory for all victims.â€ť
Jonesâ€™ former colleague Elizabeth Taylor, 32, has filed a similar sexual harassment lawsuit set to go to trial in July. Taylor accuses David of inappropriate behavior, including tying her to a chair with computer wire, locking her in an office and exposing her underwear by holding her upside down while walking her around the office. â€śI was completely embarrassed, mortified and humiliated,â€ť she revealed.