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Wednesday 29 January 2020
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Jamaican who walked out of Piarco Airport seeks release

LAWYERS representing the Jamaican who casually walked out of Piarco Airport last month, after being denied entry into this country, are seeking his release.

O’Shane Bailey’s attorneys have been granted a writ of habeas corpus to have immigration officials bring him to court to justify his detention. Justice Mira Dean-Armorer today granted the writ and Bailey will be brought to court on Monday for the hearing.

Bailey, 29, has been in custody since June 7, when he was held by police at the Grand Bazaar shopping mall in Valsayn after buying food.

He walked out of Piarco Airport on the night of May 31 after he was denied entry by Immigration, having arrived on a Caribbean Airlines flight from Jamaica.

According to reports, Bailey was put in a waiting room and told he would be sent back home.

Some time later, CCTV footage captured Bailey walking out of the waiting room and through the duty-free section. He was seen joining the Customs line, where he was cleared by an officer.

CCTV cameras last captured Bailey walking through the carpark of the airport.

In a statement, the Airports Authority said a Jamaican, who was refused entry into TT and awaiting a return flight to Jamaica, eluded Immigration and airline security officials and exited the airport.

The authority said by law, persons who are refused entry by the Immigration Division become the responsibility of the airline. The authority said it was not in a position to discuss security measures being put in place to prevent a recurrence of this situation and referred such questions to the Immigration Division or the airline’s security.

The application said Bailey came to TT for a vacation and to spend time with his family. It said after being denied, he was told he could not appeal the expulsion but could pay US$500 and leave the airport. It also alleged that Bailey was told to put the money in a refrigerator and said he did not know it was a bribe until after he was put in a holding room by a security officer.

It said in the holding room were two Colombians and a woman and he put the US$500 in the refrigerator. Twenty minutes later, two officials came into the room and told him to follow them. They allegedly gave him a phone number and told him to call to collect his passport and pay US$300. The application said he followed the instructions, left Customs and was not given his passport but was given a number for an immigration official to collect the document and pay the US$300.

The application said Bailey left the airport with his girlfriend and went to his home to meet his family. After that he called the number he was given but no one answered.

It added that his passport photograph was published in the media alleging he had escaped lawful custody and on June 7, he surrendered to police at Grand Bazaar.

On June 10, Immigration moved him to the Immigration Detention Centre, where he was interviewed, but no charges have been laid against him.

He is being represented by attorneys Criston J Williams and Shirvani Ramkissoon.

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