Mr Lexx opens up about Panama detention

November 08, 2021
Mr Lexx
Mr Lexx

Dancehall artiste Mr Lexx says that despite his recent ordeal in Panama, he would return to the transcontinental country which straddles Central America and South America. The Cook deejay was detained at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City upon arrival last Wednesday, after it was discovered that he was arrested in the United States more than two decades ago. His passport, boarding pass and cell phone were confiscated.

"They love me in Panama. I am very famous over there, of course I would go back," the dancehall deejay told THE STAR.

"I have been to Panama many, many times and never had an issue, so that's why this was so confusing."

Mr Lexx said that his encounter was with the police, not immigration officials. He said that the flight originated in Kingston and that he was one of about 17 Jamaicans who were detained.

"As I reached, a policeman asked me if I had been arrested in the US in 1997 and when I said 'Yes' he sent me to one side. Then I realised that at least half of the Jamaicans who were on the flight were also sent to a special area -- two were students and one was a policeman. I was in a room in the belly of the airport being treated like a criminal. It wasn't after Minister [Olivia] Grange, and Kamina Johnson Smith intervened, through our ambassador in Panama that they realised who I was and gave me back my cell phone. After that, everybody wanted to take pictures with me," he said.

Grange is Jamaica's culture minister while Johnson Smith is the foreign affairs minister.

Mr Lexx told THE STAR that the trip to Panama represented the first time that he has left Jamaica since the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that he was looking forward to shooting a music video and do some shopping.

"I have friends in Panama and I told them that I wanted to shoot a video for Back It Up and they were like, 'Come here and do it.' They are into video production and have some really good equipment, so I thought 'why not'. It would be cool to tek a little trip, hold a joy and do a video over there. Plus, I had saved up my little US dollars and wanted to get some new clothes and colognes. And then this happen. I didn't even get a chance to explain myself or anything," Mr Lexx said.

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