Mon | Dec 5, 2022

Elephant Man freed of immigration charges

Published:Tuesday | April 5, 2022 | 1:43 PM
Dancehall entertainer Elephant Man leaving the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court in March 2021. - File photo.

Dancehall entertainer Elephant Man, who was accused of lying to immigration authorities, was this morning freed of breaches of the Immigration and Perjury Acts.

The artiste was accused of lying about an alleged trip to Germany, which was one of the countries for which Jamaica had imposed a travel ban in 2020 as part of COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

It was being alleged that the popular entertainer, who returned to the island from a tour in Europe, failed to properly declare his travel history to immigration personnel.

Disc jockey Kevin Shields, who was jointly charged in the matter, was also freed when both men appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court for the start of their trial.

The entertainer, whose given name is Oneal Bryan, and Shields were charged with making a false declaration and false volunteer declaration.

The trial, which was set to begin this morning before Parish Judge Leighton Morris, was aborted after the prosecution offered no evidence in the matter.

The prosecution had alleged that on March 20, 2020, Bryan arrived at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James and failed to declare on the immigration and customs form that he had visited Brussels, Belgium.

As a result, on March 23, summonses were prepared for breaches of the Immigration (Restriction of Commonwealth Citizens) and Perjury Acts and served on Bryan.

Similar summonses were prepared and served on Shields, who had been travelling with Bryan.

However, attorney-at-law Russell Stewart, who represented Shields, told The Gleaner that the prosecution had nothing to prove that his client or Bryan had visited Belgium except the "say so" of an unknown passenger.

Kaysian Kennedy appeared for Bryan.

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