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T&T gov't in damage control mode after police raid Buju's hotel room

Published:Sunday | April 21, 2019 | 12:00 AM
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.

The Trinidad and Tobago government is in damage control mode after yesterday's embarrassing incident in which the hotel room of Jamaica's reggae star Buju Banton was raided by police in the twin-island republic.

In a statement issued today, Trinidad's National Security Minister Stuart Young said: "I have noted that the (police) commissioner gave assurances that the police service will do all that it can to ensure that the remainder of Buju's visit is peaceful and incident free. I welcome this assurance by the commissioner and the men and women of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service."

The statement by the Trinidadian minister followed an apology from Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, who reportedly said he had no knowledge of the planned raid by the police, even though they claimed to have got a warrant to conduct the search.

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, today.

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

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

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

They found nothing illegal in Buju's room.

The security minister for the twin-island republic said he had granted ministerial permit for Banton, along with Luciano and Wayne Wonder, to perform at the concert tonight.

"This permission was granted after due consideration and also an appreciation for our CARICOM stance and commitments," Young said in his statement.

The security minister said he was looking "forward to hearing of a successful concert by Buju and others tonight and wish them all of the very best whilst they are on our shores".

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