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Kartel jailed - Entertainer faces ganja charges

Published:Saturday | October 1, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Local dancehall artiste Adidja Palmer, more popularly known as Vybz Kartel, is seen here as members of the security forces search his premises yesterday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator

FOLLOWING THE arrest yesterday of dancehall star Adidja Palmer, who goes by the stage name 'Vybz Kartel', head of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, has disclosed that other entertainers have popped up on the police radar and could be arrested soon.

"We have an interest in at least 10 other members of the entertainment industry, some of whom have been implicated in a number of murders and shootings," Powell revealed.

The dancehall star, who was under the microscope of senior detectives for several months, got a surprise visit yesterday from a team of detectives, who turned up at a small but prominent St Andrew-based hotel, where the entertainer was found in the company of three other people, two males and a female.

"He has since been charged with illegal possession of ganja, pending further investigation," said Powell.

Connected to gangs

While not disclosing the identity of the other entertainers being sought, the senior officer stressed that these are people with strong connections to major criminal gangs in the island. He also disclosed that some of these entertainers have been implicated in gunrunning.

The Gleaner understands that the police are expected to give more details at a press conference, tentatively scheduled for next week.

In the meantime, Powell listed the Dog Paw from Kintyre, St Andrew, the Clansman and One Order gangs from Spanish Town, and the Clarendon-based Soldjie Gang, as those across the country which they have significantly impacted since January.