The MoBay hijacking ... the journey

Published: Tuesday | April 21, 2009

Members of the security forces form a blanket around Stephen Fray as they usher him into the Freeport Police Station in Montego Bay, St James yesterday. - Photo by Adrian Frater


10:00 p.m. - Stephen Fray arrives at the Sangster International Airport by unknown mode of transportation.
10:45 p.m. - Fray breaches security check points undetected and proceeds towards the charter Canjet plane on the tarmac.
11:00 p.m. - Fray boards the aircraft, brandishes a handgun and indicates his intention to hijack the aircraft.
11:30 p.m. - Fray becomes angry when passengers begin to quizz him about his intentions and he fires a shot from his handgun. No one is hurt.
11:45 p.m. - Passengers finally convince Fray to free them in exchange for the cash and other valuables they have in their possession.
Midnight - Fray instructs the pilot and the flight crew, whom he had detained on the aircraft, to start making preparations for departure.


12:30 a.m. -

Members of the security forces make contact with Fray, who identifies himself and outlines his desire to be flown to Cuba.
1:30 a.m. - After failing to convince Fray to give up his plans, security officers get him to agree to speak to members of his family.
2:00 a.m. - Prime Minister Bruce Golding and other government officials arrive at the airport and, after meeting the passengers who were allowed off the plane, make arrangements for accommodation off the airport compound for them.
2:30 a.m. - Members of Fray's family, who were contacted by the police, start arriving at the airport. Individual family members speak to him but to no avail.
4:00 a.m. - Fire engines and security vehicles parked in close proximity to the aircraft start pulling away from their positions, giving the impression that something is about to happen.
4:30 a.m. - The lights on the aircraft go out. Shortly after, shadowy figures are observed running into position around the aircraft.
6:00 a.m. - One of Fray's family members arrives at the airport and is taken aboard the aircraft to speak with him. While the relative is on board, security personnel storm the aircraft, overpower Fray and release those who were still being held hostage.
7:00 a.m. - The police announce an end to the stand-off.
8:00 a.m. - Senior police personnel start arriving at the airport. They reportedly board the aircraft, where Fray is being held.
8:30 a.m. - St James' commanding officer Maurice Robinson informs journalists that a press briefing will be held in the airport's VIP lounge and reporters are transported in police vehicles towards the area.
9:00 a.m. - Several police vehicles drive on to the airport compound.
9:00 a.m. - Fray whisked away from the airport via a back entrance in a police convoy. He is transported to the Freeport Police Station.
10:00 a.m. - Prime Minister Bruce Golding and his Canadian counterpart, Stephen Harper, meet journalists in the airport's VIP lounge and update them on the hi-jacking, among other things.

Buzz: Wait a minute! What I want to know is how did this guy get past security? In the first place. What kind of a security system do they have at that airport anyway? They aren't taking this security issue very seriously at all. What if this guy was a suicide bomber, and he got past security barriers to blow up the plane, or the airport for that matter?

After what happened on 9/11, with the whole terrorist attacks scenario, I can't believe that airport security could still be so complacent. What, they didn't think it could happen to Jamaica? Well after this whole ordeal, I'm sure they'll think twice before ever thinking that again.

Spain Town: Now another reputable news agency has released that this guy was upset over a failed relationship! I sincerely hope the Jamaican legal system will make him feel how upset we are about his actions!

Monique: This once again highlights the problem we have with mental illness in Jamaica. How did someone like that acquire a firearm? When will we, as a nation, get the proper facilities to deal with people with mental illness and start dealing with these issues seriously? It's a topic often ignored in our society and as you can see, all classes are affected by this. Government needs to place more emphasis on the mentally challenged. Ignoring the problem will not solve anything.

Buzz: There's also the issue of how this guy embarrassed us as Jamaicans. The first time I heard this newscast was this morning on a New York City radio station, and I was like oops, we did it again! We made ourselves look so bad on the international scene.

We already have an infamous reputation as the crime capital of the world, and now this. When will we ever start to behave properly, and stop embarrassing our country and our people? So tell me something, when this guy was first plotting to do this, didn't he think for a second that the international media would have got wind of this and have reported it in their newscast? The guy's an idiot! He made all of us look stupid.

Ammis: My people, please relax. Jamaica is a beautiful country that's pretty secure. This unfortunate incident was heightened to an unnecessary level. Ain't no hijacking nor terrorism nor bombings took place. No one was injured (thank God)! Yes, airport security was breached, and I'm sure we'll tighten up on that.

In my opinion, this is a case of - begging a free ride gone bad. "I agree with a previous post - it's not hijacking when the plane is scheduled to stop at your desired destination."

Sexy Niki: I am very upset that this happened in Jamaica. This event has tarnished our country. They spend all this money lavishing up the airport but failed to upgrade the security. I travel to Jamaica a lot, well when Air Jamaica have sale, because fi dem ticket can HIGH coming from Chicago!!! LOL. This has never happened in Jamaica before. I am wondering what Mr Bruce Golding will do to ensure this never happens again!!!

Kev: I went to school with him, he was an extremely bright student, good at math and science. He is from a prestigious family ... .

He had to be losing his mind to pull off something like this. This is not the Stephen Fray I know. He was always a humble dude you know. I am surprised by this ... .