Local authorities reject charges made by Jamaican visitor

Barbadian authorities are strongly  refuting claims leveled by Jamaican national Sonya King that she and her son Kaleb Joseph were subjected to inhumane treatment at the Grantley Adams International Airport last Saturday.

Here is the full statement issued by the Division of Defence and Security in the Prime Minister’s office this evening.




The Tuesday August 30, 2016 edition of the Daily Nation carried the article entitled “‘INHUMANE’ Jamaican upset over treatment at airport”, in which it was reported that Jamaican national Ms. Sonya Samantha King and her son Kaleb Joseph were mistreated while in the custody of the Barbados Immigration Department on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

An investigation was carried out by the Division of Defence and Security, Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry responsible for Immigration, and no evidence could be found to substantiate the charges of mistreatment as alleged. To the contrary, the Division of Defence and Security is satisfied that the Immigration Officers on duty did everything possible to make Ms. King and her son as comfortable as possible, especially considering that events unfolded during the wee hours of the morning when there was no access to food variety, the Customs Department for luggage purposes and the relevant office.

The essential findings were as follows:


  • King was initially denied entry because, inter alia, she  did not have evidence of either a return ticket to Jamaica or

status in Trinidad as is legally required;


  • Hot water was indeed provided so that Ms. King’s infant baby, Kaleb Joseph, could be provided with tea. The only

food facility available at the time Ms. King requested food was a vending machine for the sale of boxed juices;


  • King could not be afforded access to her luggage at  the time she had requested because the luggage was

secured by Customs and the airline agents had already departed.


  • No sleeping facilities are provided at the Airport for who have been refused entry. Historically that has

been the responsibility of the airlines. Persons who are  refused entry are asked to remain in the seating area provided until the next plane arrives to return them. However, considering the lateness of the hour (1 a.m.), and the presence of her infant child, a mattress, sheet and blanket were provided to Ms. King to make her more comfortable. The mattress could only be placed on the floor but it was preferable to Ms. King remaining seated all night and was accepted by her without complaint;


  • There was no evidence of either the mattress, sheet or    blanket being dirty as alleged;


  • As soon as she had requested, Immigration Officer  afforded Ms. King the opportunity to communicate via

What’s App with her sister in order to provide her with an alternative return e-ticket to Jamaica;


  • As soon as the Airline’s office opened at 4.15 a.m, Immigration Officers worked with them to see if she could

be returned to Trinidad rather than her homeland of  Jamaica;


  • Once Customs was reopened all attempts were made to make Ms. King’s luggage accessible to her;


  • Immigration Officers went above and beyond the call of duty to assist Ms. King and her infant son Kaleb.


We take this opportunity to reiterate that the Government of Barbados remains strongly committed to the regional integration process.


The table below shows that indeed, on average, 99.7% of Jamaicans who arrive in Barbados annually gain entry. Only a miniscule fraction – 0.3% are ever refused.


Immigration Statistics with respect to Jamaicans – 2013-to June, 2016

Nationals of Jamaica 201320142015Jan-June 2016
Caricom Skilled National4044356
Right of Establishment1220
Short Term Work Permits 10314410543
Long Term Work Permits5534
Student Visas22820814024
Refusals   as a % of arrivals0.5%0.2%0.3%0.4%





























18 Responses to Local authorities reject charges made by Jamaican visitor

  1. Brien King
    Brien King September 1, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Well if indeed she did lie, in the hope of getting money, she should be permanently band from entry to Barbados for the rest of her life.

  2. Alex Alleyne September 1, 2016 at 7:18 pm


  3. Brandon St.Rose
    Brandon St.Rose September 1, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    When the guards investigate the guards what do you expect

  4. Phil September 1, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    There are always three sides to a story. Yours, mine and the truth. It seems to me that the mother used the refusal of entry to magnify her “add ons” to get attention while using baby Kaleb to harness sympathy. Bottom line here is GAIA is an International facility and their seemingly backward management should put in place some sort od holding facility of at least to cater to facilities like this which I’m sure will occur again. There should also be a 24 hour food vending facility which can carry a light meal or sandwich which can be microwaved, at the expense of the passenger or the airline or its local handling agent. Mr. Airport manager it’s your responsibility put these things in place.

    • Sherlock Holmes. September 1, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      It is persons like you who are just nuisances period, it bet you were one that strongly believed her.I will be back as i know the comments will intensify.

    • harry turnover September 2, 2016 at 6:55 am

      There are other International Airports in the Caribbean….DO THEY HAVE THOSE FACILITIES that you are ranting and raving about and furthermore it is NOT the responsibility of the Immigration Department to provide those facilities.Your rhetoric should be directed at the Government
      You talk about backward management…DID YOU READ what the local Authorities said ? if you did then you are the one who appears to be backward.

  5. Samantha Trotman
    Samantha Trotman September 1, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    She had make up a lie cause people must be asking how she get back in Jamaica and she shame. Tell the truth no need for lies

  6. Diana Cummins
    Diana Cummins September 1, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    If you are traveling to another country especially if you are not a citizen of that country,it is wise to purchase a return ticket when booking, chances are you won’t allow in on a one way ticket..

  7. Kathy-Anm September 1, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Phil, I have travelled a lot, spent many a night in an airport and I also have family in the foreign service I can tell you that in airports larger than GAIA the only holding facilities they have are basically mini jails. You have to remember that people that are normally held by immigration are held under the suspicion of doing something wrong. It is not immigration or the airport’s responsibilty to provide top notch accommodations.

    Seeing as there was a toddler involved I am glad someone had a heart to provide a mattress and water to make formula because no one wants a child to suffer. However as far as the vending machines go and a place to heat up a meal. I can also tell you that those big airports I mentioned earlier, I have never known them to have such a set up, they do have vending machine with chips and cookies etc. but at 1:a.m. no food places are open.

    I have had encounters with the occasional “unmannerly”Barbados Customs officer but never Immigration and if the information in this article is correct I believe they went above and beyond to make a bad situation workable.

  8. Joy September 1, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Maybe she only intended to travel one way, confident that some bleeding heart Bajan man would facilitate her indefinite stay.

  9. Bupps September 1, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    This is Dejva vu.
    The official response to Ms Myrie was similar. When she pursued the matter it cost the GOB significant sums between her settlement and legal fees after losing the case.

    The immigration department must ensure matters are handled better to prevent similar accusations in the future.

    • harry turnover September 2, 2016 at 7:19 am

      What did you want the Immigration Department to do ??
      Immigration Officers WENT ABOVE and BEYOND the call of duty to assist Ms. King and her infant son Kaleb.
      Do you know what that means ??…..that they did things to assist that ungrateful dawg WHICH THEY WERE NOT ENTITLED TO DO.
      “The immigration department must ensure matters are handled better to prevent similar accusations in the future.”…..you too like you don’t understand what is said in the above release.
      ….but yes…and the ONLY way is NOT TO GO BEYOND THEIR CALL OF DUTY for scam artists like her.

      ” As soon as she had requested, Immigration Officer afforded Ms. King the opportunity to communicate via

      What’s App with her sister in order to provide her with an alternative return e-ticket to Jamaica;”
      All of that should have been done BEFORE she arrived in Bdos to be provided to the Immigration Officer.

  10. Phil September 2, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Mr. Holmes, If you’re referring to me as being a nuisance, Just here did I indicated that I was picking sides Read my comment again and you will see who is the nuisance..

  11. Phil September 2, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Harry turnover, I will not argue with you, you are NOT prepared. That lady is a foreigner from the Caribbean. If she was a white woman from let’s UK or Canada or the USA, Step 1. – their embassy emergency number would have been contacted. Or in this case Jamaican honorary Counsel. That being said, Why do we here in Barbados have to compare ourselves to the rest of the Caribbean? We boast we have the best airport in the Caribbean. I have travelled extensively and ask if you have ever seen the airport in St. Maarten? Aruba? Puerto Rico? Costa Rica? even Trinidad? Which do you prefer? that we lead or follow? With regard to the FACILITY not the process nor the duty nor the procedure nor responsibility. The airport management should provide the facility or room then, just as they provide rest rooms, parking, security, runway surveillance et al. I think airline company should add this disclaimer to their tickets or better still Barbados’ Immigration should print this no admittance on all their incoming landing ED forms. The USA does it. We have to prepare for it . It will happen again. By the way do you know that at this moment, there are over 1500 Bajans squatting on Government land on the Suezdyke – Linden Highw ay in Guyana? When questioned about it, the then President Bharat Jagdeo said they are our Caribbean brothers and sisters let them stay. he advised them to get themselves registered and apply for residency, don’t get involved in any illegal activity, and they are very welcomed to stay. Most of them remit US dollars hich is easily available, as well as gold, clothing and other things Bajans go to NY and Miami to buy and sell here in Barbados, on Swan Street out of their vans and cars.
    A lot of them operate door to door too. Harry, change your name from turover to turnaround.

    • harry turnover September 3, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      Phil….and what EXACTLY are you trying to say ? man if you CANNOT UNDERSTAND what the release STATES (and CLEARLY you DON”T from all that RHETORIC you took time out to write)…you should have asked someone to decipher it for you.
      You want to be ready,but you en ready yet.
      ….and you too should change your name from PHIL to PHILLITERATE

  12. Smiley September 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

    She is ungrateful and I am not a supporter of the claims.Now that she is gone and I hope never to return.Stick with the plan no return ticket,no entry.In the USA she would have no such niceness.SHAME ON HER,NOT A CENT!

  13. aBajan NYC September 2, 2016 at 10:32 am

    MR. Phil,

    No room can be provided as that well become a problem, once you place a person in a room you are holding them against their will as they are not under arrest or charge with committing a crime. Please speak about what you know and stop speaking here because you can.

  14. Francia Matthews September 10, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Every airport facilities has camera except BARBADOS. The customs and Immigration rejected the proposal and protested. If they were in place, so one will be asking what happens, they will be prove of every event. The Prime Minister NEEDS to take a stand and put those camera in as soon as possible.


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