Popcaan wants swift apology from Jamaican police over claims he had a prior cocaine conviction in Barbados.
Popcaan’s attorney-at-law, Bert Samuels, says the artist will be taking legal action against the Jamaica Constabulary Force for allegedly supplying “false information” to British authorities, which led to him being detained each time he travels to that country.
On Tuesday (July 5), Popcaan pleaded with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness to intervene as he shared that he was detained again while traveling through the UK. It’s been the second time this has occurred since the year started, and the artist says each time he was told by UK immigration officials that his country put a red flag on him.
On Wednesday, Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith denied that the Jamaican government had put a red flag on Popcaan, whose real name is Andre Sutherland. She noted that she asked for a swift investigation into the reason for the artist’s travel woes.
It seems that as the day progressed, more light was shed as to why Popcaan is being treated like a criminal despite not having a criminal record in Jamaica.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force, JCF, stated that a “green notice” was issued by Interpol against dancehall entertainer, Popcaan for a prior conviction in Barbados.
“The JCF can confirm that Andre Sutherland was convicted in 2009 in Barbados for possession of marijuana, and subsequently deported to Jamaica. He was again arrested in Barbados in 2011 for possession of cocaine. Arising from those arrests and other intelligence gathered, a Green Notice was generated by Interpol about him in 2015. The notice was then reconfirmed by Interpol in 2018.”
The JCF says that the notice was issued seven years ago and that the government of Jamaica has not placed any hindrances on Popcaan’s traveling privileges.
The notice is reportedly concerning marijuana and cocaine charges out of Barbados against Popcaan. According to the JCF, in 2009, the artist was arrested and convicted in Barbados for possession of marijuana, and he was deported to Jamaica.
The JCF also claims that the St. Thomas native was also arrested in Barbados in 2011 for Possession of Cocaine which is why the green notice is generated.
“A Green Notice provides Interpol members with a warning about a traveller’s potential criminal activities, where the person may be considered a threat to public safety,” the JCF said.
However, Popcaan’s lawyer says the JCF’s statements are foul and meant to harm the reputation of his client in a dire time of need. According to him, Popcaan will be filing a defamation claim against the JCF for spreading mischievous claims about him regarding the cocaine charges.
“JCF release re cocaine charges in Barbados against Popcaan is a falsehood. My firm’s legal team is currently drafting a claim in libel against this mischievous JCF release to be filed tomorrow July 7. 2022. Is this how we treat our citizens when they call for help re red flag ?” the attorney lamented.
Samuels also separately spoke to that media house where he confirmed that indeed, it was Jamaican law enforcement and the GOJ that have placed a ‘red notice’ Popcaan’s name in the UK.
In the meantime, Popcaan has not reacted to the developments of his case, but he is not in the custody of immigration officials as he shared a video online of himself dancing and having a great time with friends.
Popcaan seems to be having issues with the JCF. Just a week ago, it seemed that the artist and his entourage were stopped, and his rumored girlfriend, Toni-Ann Singh, was arrested or detained by police officers. It’s unclear what became of that matter and whether Popcaan was also arrested or detained.
Popcaan’s associates had live-streamed the incident claiming that police officers have been harassing the deejay incessantly, but the JCF has not addressed it.
Popcaan’s attorney has since fired off a letter to the JCF asking for an apology and retraction of their statement, calling it damaging to the dancehall entertainer’s reputation local and internationally.
“Be minded that your conduct has been reprehensible in incorrectly attributing such a scandalous accusation against Mr Sutherland, a well-known international artiste,” Samuels law firm letter reads.