Sun | May 19, 2019

T&T police commissioner says sorry after cops raid Buju Banton's hotel room

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2019 | 10:54 PM
Trinidad's police commissioner Gary Griffith speaking with Jamaican reggae artiste Buju Banton in his hotel room. Griffith said he was at a wedding when he heard of the raid - Ent Breaking News Photo

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

Trinidad and Tobago’s Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has apologised to Jamaican reggae artiste Buju Banton, whose hotel room in Port of Spain was raided by cops earlier today.

The police claimed to have had a search warrant.

They found nothing illegal in Buju's room.

Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, is in Trinidad for the staging of the ‘I am Legend’ concert, slated for Queens Park, Savannah, Port of Spain, Sunday.

The Trinidadian government was reportedly unaware of the raid.

Buju, relating the incident in an Instagram post, professed his love for the people of  the Trinidad and Tobago, saying that he would not be broken.

Fans who spoke with The Gleaner said they were curious about reports that the police obtained a warrant to search Buju's hotel room today.

"Is it that they were working on a search warrant before he came into the country?” asked one woman who asked not to be named.

Buju arrived in Trinidad on Friday to a fanfare at the airport.

Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Wayne Sturge, commenting on social media, said a search warrant on a Saturday was not the issue.

"The real issue is that they could never have had any credible information upon which they could have obtained a warrant. I don’t know what the agenda is, but it must cause anger in the minds of right-thinking men,” he said.

Sturge described the raid as one that wreaks with abject spite and wickedness.

According to Gleaner sources, on Saturday afternoon Banton visited old friends in the urban community of on Basilon Street, Laventille.

A short while after returning to his hotel room, several police personnel turned up claiming they had a search warrant.

"Trinidadians are upset about what happened. It just wasn’t right. Everybody was so excited about Buju being here. It makes us look bad. The police commissioner cannot even tell us what they were searching for," said the woman cited earlier.

She is convinced that the Jamaican artiste was targeted.

In December, Buju was released from US prison where he served seven years on drug a conviction.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com