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January 8, 2014
Star News


TRINIDAD ANGERS JOHNNY - Says country's immigration targeting Jamaicans
Andre' Williams, STAR Writer

Christopher 'Johnny' Daley. - File

Popular comedian Christopher 'Johnny' Daley claims Trinidadian immigration officials are targeting Jamaicans after an incident on Monday where he and his wife were mistreated at the airport in Port-of-Spain shortly after arriving in the Twin Island Republic.

According to Daley, immigration officials allegedly humiliated him and his wife, after they arrived in Trinidad to celebrate their anniversary. The incident resulted in the comedian airing his grouse via a detailed post on his Facebook page yesterday.

"My fellow Jamaicans, please have all your ducks in a row and your T's crossed if you need to travel to Trinidad and Tobago because we are being targeted, no doubt. They had no good reason to treat my wife and I the way they did, so I can only assume it's our nationality that was the issue. It's as if the Immigration and Customs personnel have replaced the word Jamaican with criminal, so, please be careful," Daley wrote.

He continued, "A. J. Nicholson ... there is much work to be done. We were suspects, the minute we walked up to immigration. Without scanning our passports, the Indian looking officer took up a phone and called someone to indicate that she felt suspicious ..."

Daley added: "This has never happened before in all my years of travelling. Even to the great United States, a country that is constantly having to protect its borders from terrorists. It was humiliating ... there was no respect shown to me and my wife ..."

He outlined that he would not have made the post, had the embarrassment stopped after the interview with the first official.

"Without hesitation, on reaching the customs officer, he called over the woman in bright orange that was the leader of the Enforcement Team. She showed her name tag before she started her interrogation of the suspects (that's how I felt). She asked about the contents of our luggage ..."

He added that even though there were scanning machines in that area, they were allegedly the only ones being searched by hand.

"While searching our luggage, I was asked to break open one of the patties we took for our hosts, she then broke several pieces of the ginger we were asked to take, and squeezed the hard-dough bread so hard that it lost its shape. Having not found anything beyond what was reflected she moved on to the next bags ..." Daley wrote.

Speaking with THE STAR from a guest house in Tobago yesterday, Daley said the treatment meted out to him was unfair, but he has plans to return.

Daley said he did not make a formal report but after waking up yesterday morning he felt compelled to detail his experience.

He also told our news team that there was not a thorough look at their documents and they started to feel that the immigration procedure was not normal, especially after answering all questions put forward.

Daley said, "She asked if I was wearing two trousers ... asked if my wife was from Barbados (even though they had her Jamaican passport)... they asked if we had a criminal record... our answers did not satisfy her and she sent me in a room with two gentlemen ... I was not prepared to take off my clothes ..."

Our news team understands that the lengthy ordeal threatened the couple's ability to catch a connecting flight, which they did, however, not without their luggage being left behind, and a little 'attitude' from the Caribbean Airline staff on the ground for being late for boarding.

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