(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) — Despite being refused entry into this country on Friday night, a Jamaican national calmly walked out of the holding room, went through customs, and then left Piarco International Airport.
The Express was told that CCTV footage captured the man walking out of the holding room, before going joining the customs line.
He went through the process, along with the other persons who lined up, and was cleared.
He was not challenged by the customs officer who dealt with him, as it appeared the official was not made aware of his status.
The Jamaican man then exited the airport.
He was last seen on CCTV footage walking briskly through the car park.
The man then made good his escape.
The Express was told that, contrary to other reports, there was “no elaborate” effort in the escape.
“The individual did not climb through any ducts. He did not go through the roof. The truth is much more simple, and unfortunate. He was placed in a holding room after being denied entry. There was supposed to be security officials outside. But at some point, the gentleman realised the security officials were not paying much attention, and he simply picked up himself and walked out. There is no drama to the situation. The entire thing was captured on CCTV footage,” The Express was told by immigration sources.
The police were notified and officials from the Piarco Police Station and the Northern Division Task Force, under the supervision of ACP Jacob and Senior Supt John, responded.
Up to press time yesterday the suspect had not been held.
The Express was told that an internal investigation into the incident has been launched.
“At the end of the day. Persons who are denied entry into the country are not under arrest. They are just that, persons denied entry. So the process as it stands is that they are placed in a holding room, where security is expected to keep an eye on them. The room is not under lock down. This is not a prison so it is not that we keep them behind bars. It is a process where they are placed to wait, until the airline places them back on a return flight. This process is usually a smooth one. However, Saturday night was clearly one of those times where it was not,” the Express was told.
In a media release on Saturday, the Airports Authority said it was the responsibility of the airline that brought the escapee into the country to secure him.
The case is now one for the police service, said the Airports Authority.