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GBR | Jul 6, 2022

Popcaan freed from UK detention, Johnson Smith confirms

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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Dancehall star Popcaan. (Photo: Facebook @PopcaanMusic)

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith is today (July 6) confirming that Jamaican dancehall star Popcaan has been released after he decried his brief detention at the hands of British authorities.

Johnson Smith, in an update this afternoon, likened the incident to a routine ‘stop and search’, contrary to previous assertions the entertainer was being targeted.

The minister, who initially disclosed that the Government had asked the British High Commission for further clarity on Popcaan’s forceful detention, again dismissed suggestions that the Andrew Holness administration had any role in the matter.

“UPDATE: Checks with the Home Office advised that @PopcaanMusic was released. We further confirm that his stop and check was not at the instance of the Govt of JA. We also conveyed to the Home Office a letter from his attorney-at-law who may update the public as seen fit,” she advised.

(Photo: Twitter @KaminaJSmith)

Earlier today, as questions circled the deejay’s second detention since January, Johnson Smith briefly commented on Twitter that the Government would be looking into the matter.

“Dear @ShellyCurran The Govt of JA has not requested that @PopcaanMusic be detained, but there are many reasons why a traveller may be detained. I have asked the High Commission to enquiry into the matter as early as they are able, so that they may advise,” she noted this morning.

(Photo: Twitter @KaminaJSmith)

A visibly frustrated Popcaan took to Instagram yesterday to inform his two-million-plus followers that he was stopped by authorities attached to the Border Force of the UK Home Office.

The dancehall star specifically tagged Prime Minister Holness in his widely viewed Instagram story, pleading for assistance.

Subsequent media reports, Popcaan was detained and questioned for several hours and later released without incident.

Prominent Jamaican attorney Bert Samuels, who represents the St Thomas-born musician, had last night accused the Government of ‘instigating’ the self-proclaimed Unruly Boss’ immigration woes.

“Popcaan’s harassment at Heathrow airport is as a consequence of the Jamaican state putting a red flag on his name. Can you believe an artist who carries our flag high and with no criminal record being embarrassed in foreign country because his own country says he is a wrong doer?” Samuels asked.

According to Samuels, for Popcaan—as the holder of a valid UK visa and one who holds such a high public profile—to still own his visa signifies that British authorities do not see him as a threat and only operate contrary to this fact because of the Jamaican Government.

(Photo: Twitter @BertSamuels)
(Photo: Twitter @BertSamuels)

“To the doubters on my Popcaan tweet – Popcaan travels to the UK on a visa issued by the UK. If they (the UK) had an issue with him would they have granted a visa? Would they cancel the visa if they subsequently discovered an issue? So whose intelligence is acting out here? (sic),” the attorney added.

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