JAMAICA: Government minister patted down by immigration officials

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister in Trinidad and Tobago, Ayanna Webster-Roy, has confirmed an incident in Jamaica where it is alleged that she had been “patted down’ by immigration officials when she was leaving the country after attending the Regional Parliamentary Forum as part of the follow-up on the UN Declaration on Ending AIDS earlier this week.

But Webster-Roy told the Trinidad Express newspaper on Saturday that she did not wish to speak about the incident just yet as she preferred to speak with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dennis Moses, before issuing any statement on the matter.

However, opposition legislator Dr. Fuad Khan, who was among a three-member Trinidad and Tobago delegation that attended the meeting, told the newspaper that the government legislator was “patted down’ despite the fact that her diplomatic status was disclosed to the Jamaican authorities.

Khan told the newspaper that the trio were returning to Trinidad on Thursday via Miami when the Jamaican authorities pulled Webster-Roy as the group was about to board the aircraft.

He said he expressed alarm and dismay at the treatment accorded to a Trinidad and Tobago Government minister.

“We found out that they examined her in the most private of places. That is unheard of and uncalled for. And I believe that she was singled out as a minister of the Trinidad and Tobago Government because that doesn’t happen to anybody with a diplomatic passport, especially a minister,” he told the newspaper.

Khan, a former health minister here, said while there was no strip search, she was patted down.

He said he was strongly of the view that Trinidad and Tobago should call for an apology from the Jamaica government or an investigation in the situation.

“We cannot treat that lightly. We were leaving Jamaica around 12 noon to go to Miami. Protocol (officer) took us straight through and as we were about to board the aircraft, they (the Jamaican authorities) pulled the lady (Webster-Roy) aside and told her that she was selected for screening.

“We said ‘excuse us, how could she be selected and she is a minister with a diplomatic passport’. The (Parliament) protocol officer who was with us kept telling them that she is a minister with a diplomatic passport,” to no avail, Khan told the newspaper.

Last year there were allegations by Jamaicans about alleged mistreatment and discrimination by Trinidad and Tobago Immigration authorities following the deportation of a number of Jamaicans.

This matter had led to calls by some Jamaicans to boycott Trinidad and Tobago products and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley visited that Caribbean country to assure Jamaicans that they were not being targeted. (CMC)

28 Responses to JAMAICA: Government minister patted down by immigration officials

  1. Paz Tiempo
    Paz Tiempo June 3, 2017 at 10:13 am

    So what stupse no one should be above the law

    • Bajan June 6, 2017 at 9:21 am

      And the ‘Law’ is that you don’t search or pat down a person with diplomatic immunity. YES there are laws that are in place for such persons and does not apply to ordinary citizens.

  2. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince June 3, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Tit for tat?

  3. Smith Maxine
    Smith Maxine June 3, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Why is that an issue Barbados? She is not above the law.

    • Nickk Moore
      Nickk Moore June 3, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Agree. I’m sure if she was patted down in Miami it wouldn’t be an issue.

      • Justin NC Pablo June 3, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        Did you all read that her diplomatic status was declared? Immigration officials do not search diplomats that’s a well established protocol.

        • Kirk June 3, 2017 at 1:49 pm

          I’m in total agreement with you, we must work with what is the establish protocols for ministers in the Caribbean.

      • Arri Mayers June 4, 2017 at 1:13 pm

        Not if she was carrying $1million in a briefcase .

        • Bajan June 6, 2017 at 9:24 am

          She could be carrying a BILLION dollars.. the ‘law’ is that you don’t search a diplomat or their luggage. As a matter of fact, some diplomatic luggage is not xrayed.

  4. Yvette Griffith
    Yvette Griffith June 3, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Do fa do

  5. nap June 3, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I’m sure if she was patted down in Miami it wouldn’t be an issue.

  6. Dennis Connell
    Dennis Connell June 3, 2017 at 10:50 am

    If protocol says a person of her status should not be patted down so be it..but i believe all persons should be treated equally…to do otherwise is discrimination..who says all diplomatic passport holders are sqeeky clean??

  7. Veronica A. Piggott
    Veronica A. Piggott June 3, 2017 at 10:50 am

    If it was in Barbados they would go to the CCJ

  8. Vanessa Walkbyfaith Archer
    Vanessa Walkbyfaith Archer June 3, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Well do suh nah like suh …when you treat others with respect ✊ you get it back

  9. Maaz A Love
    Maaz A Love June 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

    A Patt down was light …She could’ve been stripped down or even had a cavity search Lol!..If it had happened at JFK it wouldn’t be news ..

  10. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner June 3, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Ok understand T&T point but let’s be real anyone can be patted down for security reasons regardless of having a diplomatic passport,but it looks like some tic for tac thing going on between the two islands.Also wondering if she was patted down in Miami would T&T be so upset because Americans would just laugh them off.

  11. Jerome Sealy
    Jerome Sealy June 3, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I’ve never been patted down in my 40 years… did they have cause or is this just another case of some heavy handed (see frustrated) civil servant flexing his authority?… nothing happens in a vacuum we need to examine what is happening at the airport… this happens too often…

  12. Mr b June 3, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    If a person has diplomatic immunity they cannot be patted down just like we cannot pat down a US senator or congressman at our airport here

  13. rodderts June 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    barbados and tnt are the worse offenders protocol or not. they do whatever is right for them and think they’re special. the other caribbean visitors should be treated with respect and be approached like they are humans. I hope wanna see how it feels…

  14. The Negrocrat June 3, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Jackasses, holders of diplomatic passports should not be subject to such. That is known internationally.
    If she had contraband, they could not legally arrest her.
    Jamaica will have to offer her and apology.

  15. romando rampersad June 4, 2017 at 9:01 am

    you are all wrong, this is a person with a diplomatic passport and according to international law she is afforded diplomatic immunity, so if your logic is correct then diplomatic immunity means nothing and anyone can be searched at any give time, now here is the facts , you can accept it or you can try to shout me down(but that’s easier said than done) every diplomat with immunity can only be searched if their government withdraws that immunity, but it can now be a very embarrassing situation, as any government would now seek to have the persons involved fired forthwith as a means of telling the persons that they overstepped their authority and cannot be trusted by foreign countries, if the country in question have any suspicions then there are channels to follow, and the minister in question should not have allowed any foreign power or person to put their hands on her, let them apply to the relevant authority to have her diplomatic immunity revoked. but again here are people who cannot see the dangers this can create so their responses are “no one is above the law” then if that is the logic being applied then any minister or diplomat visiting trinidad can also be searched at will, thank god Trinidad and Tobago conforms to international conventions.

  16. jay don June 4, 2017 at 10:05 am

    lol above the law?? It is illegal to search diplomats, thats what being a diplomat means, it is what diplomatic privilage allows you.

  17. Donild Trimp June 4, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Some of you people are so ill-informed when it comes to immigration law.

    You all always fall prey to this myth about Diplomatic immunity.

    Diplomats on foreign soil are not immune from the authority of immigration officers.

    It is just a courtesy (or what you all call protocol) to overlook them.

    Diplomats were caught smuggling drugs and money on numerous occasions.

    • Bajan June 6, 2017 at 9:55 am

      This has nothing to do with immigration and under normal circumstances, diplomats have immunity from certain immigration protocols once their identities have been established. When a country is a signatory to international conventions and then passes them in parliament, it becomes the law of the land. So it’s not just a matter of courtesy..iTS THE LAW!

  18. ackeegrl June 4, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    People with diplomatic passports ARE above the law…they get to walk around and leave without being searched or investigated…that is the agreement signed by countries to protect their diplomats when they travel to each other’s countries…..so yes….they cannot touch her..they violated the diplomatic agreement.

  19. ackeegrl June 4, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    The rules concerning diplomatic immunity are set forth in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which has been agreed upon by 187 countries — including the United States and Pakistan. The treaty states clearly that diplomatic agents including “the members of the diplomatic staff, and of the administrative and technical staff and of the service staff of the mission” enjoy “immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State.” They also enjoy immunity from civil proceedings unless the case involves property or business interests unrelated to their diplomatic duties.

  20. Ras Mike June 5, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    I have been patted down coming back from JA many times and witness the Big top race horse owners in Barbados getting patted down also.
    When them patting me down I does start taking off my shirt and they don’t want me do that but I have nothing to hide.
    Patting down is normal in Ja.


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