Sun | Sep 26, 2021

What if US asks for 'John Public'?

Published:Wednesday | March 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor
, Sir:

Let us forget for a minute that there is an outstanding extradition request for Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. Picture, if you will, that the request is for any ordinary Jamaican with no political ties. This Jamaican works hard and is on his way to achieving his goals, he has relatives/friends in the United States, they are involved in criminal activities of which he has no idea.

They send money for him to either transact business for them, maybe they help him pay his school fees or pay off a loan. Due to the harsh economic times, they promise to send him a barrel with foodstuff. He is grateful.

Included in the barrel is a bag for a friend who will come to collect it. This relative is of interest to the US State Department, he calls and says he has shipped off the 'stuff' and it will arrive at a particular date and you must remember to give the bag to his friend.

Protesting innocence

Everything goes as planned. Next, you hear you are wanted for a number of charges, including money laundering and gun and drug trafficking. You claim your innocence, but they have the telephone conversation, the records of you receiving money and clearing the barrel, etc. Would you be clamouring for extradition?

Even those who you thought were your friends will distance themselves from you and make disparaging remarks, "Ah long time him ah gwan wid dem things deh", etc. Even if you are found to be innocent, your life and reputation would have already been damaged and there will still be those who claim your guilt. Sounds far-fetched? It can happen to any ordinary 'Old Joe or Jane'.

I will not speculate about Mr Coke's guilt or innocence. But if it were you, would you not want your rights protected? Lest we forget, the US has tried to bully us before. In one such case, they threatened financial sanctions against Jamaica in 1996.

So before we jump around and try and hide our visa, think if it was not Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, what would be the cry?

I am, etc.,

Jade July