Popcaan calls on Holness to help remove ‘red flags’
Dancehall hitmaker Popcaan found himself being interrogated by airport immigration once again.
Yesterday afternoon, the artiste shared via his Instagram story that he was 'detained' and was informed that this was as a result of red flags implemented by the Jamaican Government. It prompted the entertainer to make a plea to Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
"They just give me this paper and detained me because of information that was sent by my country that I should be stopped every time I'm here. I wonder why. Mr Prime Minister of Jamaica, I would like to draw your attention to this once, again," Popcaan is heard saying in the video that was posted online.
According to attorney-at-law Bert Samuels, over the past nine months, he was retained by the entertainer, whose given name is Andrae Sutherland, to write to the necessary agencies to have the issue of the red flags resolved.
"He retained me to write to the home office in England, because every time he travels to the UK through Heathrow, or half the time he is on his way to Africa or elsewhere in Europe, immigration pulls him aside and interrogates him for three to four hours. I did that about six months ago to find out the problem and what came back is that it is not something the British has done, but something the [Jamaican] Government has placed on Mr Sutherland," Samuels told THE STAR.
He continued: "He also asked me to write to the relevant minister of culture. I did that and with the best of efforts nothing has come of it. So the frustration deepens in Popcaan's mind and the embarrassment continues. He is frustrated. He feels his own country has turned against him because the immigration in Heathrow, they have been apologetic but have consistently informed him that the red flag has been placed there by his own Government and for that reason they have to hold him for questioning."
In January, Popcaan was in a similar position with UK airport authorities. The same red flag also exists in Panama, where last year, Popcaan slept in the airport.
"It is gross embarrassment. My own view of this is, we ask our artistes like Popcaan to fly the Jamaican flag high and they do this. The brand Jamaica is supported by reggae artistes and Rastafari in equal parts [so] therefore Popcaan, in his frustration, is calling on head of state to intervene on his behalf and he is rightly doing that because nothing has come of our writings," Samuels said. "Even if it is that someone is under suspicion, after the passage of two years and nothing has come out of it, that person deserves an apology because he or she cannot be under a permanent state of suspicion."