(Trinidad Guardian) A Jamaican national who was refused entry into Trinidad on Friday night and was detained by immigration officers later escaped from the Piarco International Airport.
Sources told the Sunday Guardian that the Jamaican man in his early 20s had arrived in Trinidad aboard a Caribbean Airlines flight from Kingston, Jamaica, on Friday night.
The man who has several pending drug-related matters in Jamaica had attempted to enter Trinidad three times before, but was stopped and placed on a flight back to Jamaica.
Sources said the man—who once lived here and has children residing here—again tried to reenter the country.
Sunday Guardian was informed that the man was stopped by immigration authorities and later placed in an immigration detention holding room at the airport. “They were planning to send him back on a Saturday flight to Kingston,” a source explained.
However, when immigration officers went to check on the man around 3:30 am on Saturday, he could not be found.
The officers later discovered that the man had removed a ceiling tile in the roof of the room and climbed inside the area.
Sources said they believe the man crawled through the air ducts and was able to gain access to a public area where he later jumped down and escaped from the airport.
Immigration authorities swept the airport for several hours looking for the runaway suspect but he could not be found.
A few months ago a Pakistani national who had been refused entry into this country had attempted to run pass immigration officers to meet his lawyer outside the airport. His dash was captured on the airport’s CCTV cameras and he was held moments later.
The Airports Authority of T&T (AATT) in a statment last night confirmed that the Jamaican national had escaped from Immigration and airline security officials and left the airport.
The authority advises that by law, people who were refused entry by the Immigration Division become the responsibility of the airline. The AATT said that it was not in a position to discuss security measures being put in place to prevent a recurrence of this situation.
The authority said such questions could be directed to the Immigration Division or the airline’s security.
The matter was reported to the T&T Police Service and is currently being investigated.