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Myrie cleared then turned back, CCJ told

Published:Thursday | March 21, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Shanique Myrie was actually cleared to enter Barbados when she first arrived in the country two years ago.

But that clearance was cancelled moments later after it was determined by Immigration Department officials at the Grantley Adams International Airport that the Jamaican woman had misrepresented information regarding who would be her host during her 15-day stay in Barbados.

That was revealed to the Caribbean Court of Justice yesterday by Senior Immigration Officer Merlo Reid, as Myrie's discrimination case against the government of Barbados entered its third day.

Myrie is claiming she was discriminated against on her arrival to Barbados March 14, 2011, and that she was subjected to a humiliating body-cavity search before being detained and deported back to Jamaica the next day.

Reid, an immigration officer for 32 years, and a supervisor for the last six, informed the seven-judge panel that after Myrie was referred to him by junior officer Alicia Young, he interviewed her for about five minutes, and she was granted a 30-day stay in Barbados.

"I was satisfied with what she had presented to me," Reid said during cross-examination by Myrie's attorney, Michelle A. Brown.

Reid said that during that initial interview, Myrie informed him that she had known her host Pamela Clarke for about two years, had met her over the Internet, and had remained in contact with the Barbadian woman about twice weekly during that time period.

"I believed her. She came across as believable," Reid added, noting that after stamping Myrie's passport with the 30-day stamp, he ushered her back into the Immigration Department's secondary waiting room.


He testified that he then informed police Constable Everton Gittens of the Royal Barbados Police Force's Drug Squad that he had completed interviewing Myrie and had cleared her to enter Barbados. He noted Gittens had previously indicated he wanted to interview the Jamaican woman, but did not indicate why.

Things changed dramatically moments later, however, Reid testified, when Gittens informed him he had also interviewed Myrie.

The policeman then passed on certain information to the senior officer, who conducted a second interview with Myrie.

In response to questions from Brown, Reid said the policeman did not give him any indication that Myrie could be a drug courier.

Reid said that Gittens informed him that during the policeman's interview, he (Gittens) had come to understand Myrie was not in fact staying with Pamela Clarke as had been previously indicated.

"He did not say anything about drugs," Reid answered when asked the question again by Brown. "I spoke to Pamela Clarke after Gittens provided me with information. He called her and passed the phone to me. She (Clarke) admitted it was true that she had no knowledge of Shanique Myrie staying with her, but was, in fact, doing her friend Daniel Forde a favour."

- Contributed by The Nation Barbados