The family of a Jamaican man who was caught smuggling ganja into Barbados said they are contemplating suing the government over unlawful detention.
Kivesi Andrae McPherson was arrested on December 30, 2019 after he was caught smuggling $20,000 worth of ganja into Barbados. McPherson, who appeared before the court on January 16, was ordered to pay a fine of $8,000 for the offence.
His legal representatives told local Barbados press that the issue of contention was the amount of time McPherson spent in lock-up after having paid the fine.
According to information obtained, McPherson paid the fine on Friday, January 17 but had to remain in lock-up over the weekend until a deportation order was signed. Once signed, McPherson was again detained for an additional five days in a room at the Grantley Adams International Airport. It is alleged that a pilot from a local carrier refused to admit McPherson onboard without an escort.
According to McPherson’s legal representative, there have been conflicting reports about why her client was not allowed to board the flight despite having proof of payment. The ordeal, according to the legal representative has left her client “depressed” and “traumatised”.
In addition, McPherson is reported to have described the treatment that he received while incarcerated as “inhumane”. The Bajan immigration department on Tuesday denied claims that McPherson human rights were violated during his stay in airport lock-up.
The department noted that not only was McPherson treated well but added that meals were purchased from a local restaurant for the Jamaican at a cost of $45 per day because he did not eat facility provided meals. McPherson is said to have refused breakfast on January 15, as he was upset about being denied travel.