The Trinidad and Tobago media has reported that the Jamaican man who was refused entry at the Piarco International Airport in that country and eluded immigration authorities there is refuting claims that he escaped custody.
The 29-year-old man, who reportedly contacted the Guardian newspaper, claimed that he had paid US$500 to an immigration officer to secure his freedom.
The Guardian reported that the man on Sunday contacted their news team and provided a photo of his Caribbean Airlines boarding pass from flight BW415 from Kingston, Jamaica to Trinidad as proof of his identity, his order of denial and a photo of the room he was being kept in to corroborate his account.
The Airports Authority stated the suspect escaped from immigration and airline security officers and left the Piarco International Airport on Saturday.
The man told the media that he was stopped by Immigration officers from entering the country on Friday night but said there was no basis for their refusal.
He further admitted that he had been prevented from entering T&T on three previous occasions and deported to Jamaica as officers claimed he had pending criminal charges in Jamaica, the Guardian reported.
“I do not have any pending, previous or ongoing court matters in Jamaica. I am simply trying to come here to be with my children and my girlfriend who is pregnant.
The man said his relatives living in Trinidad became alarmed after learning that police were searching for him and were unwilling to let him visit their homes.
He said the Immigration officer told him if he could come up with another US$300 by Sunday; he would organize for him to get back his passport, which was being held by immigration officials.
He also said his next step is to meet with police officers of the St Joseph Police Station.
In a statement on Saturday, the Airports Authority said the man “eluded” Immigration and airline security officials and exited the airport.
“The authority hereby confirms that a Jamaican national, who was refused entry into Trinidad and Tobago and awaiting a return flight to Jamaica, eluded Immigration and airline security officials and exited the airport.”
But the authority said people who are refused entry by Immigration officials become the responsibility of the airline that brought them into the country.