In the wake of a major drug bust at the Norman Manley International Airport on Monday, vice president of the People’s National Party and member of Parliament, Mikael Phillips, has voiced that although his brother was indeed involved, he himself has nothing to do with the find.
Monday’s drug trafficking prevention has been linked to an individual that has since been arrested and identified as the brother of MP Phillips.
According to reports by the Jamaica Observer, Phillips seeks to distance himself from the criminal actions of his older brother by stating earlier today, “I am not the subject of any investigation and have no reason to be involved with it. We are both sons of the late Mrs. Minion Phillips and have never resided together as brothers… I am aware of social postings which have resulted in me being called by friends concerning the matter and hence I have decided to make a public statement setting out all the information I have concerning it. The issue is unrelated to me and therefore I am and remain unconnected to it.”
MP Phillips indicated that his brother was half-blooded and had not been on the island for more than three decades. He said they are of the same mother but have never lived together as siblings and that since he had been receiving calls about the situation, he wished to make it clear that he is not connected to it in any way. His brother was held on reasonable suspicion of violating the Dangerous Drugs Act.
The Dangerous Drugs Act allows the state to keep tabs on and control the use of specific drugs, which would include morphine, cocaine, and other psychotropic substances. A person caught with these substances may face a Circuit Court conviction and a fine or imprisonment for up to 35 years, or both, under this Act. Based on the situation, they can also face a summary conviction before a resident magistrate court and a fine not exceeding $500,000 and/or five years imprisonment.
In a report published by the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Corporate Communications Unit, roughly 12 kilogrammes of cocaine were seized when airport security noticed irregularities with a specific blue suitcase and launched their investigations into the contents of the item. They then discovered the illegal substance, and after the police acquired the drugs, it was said that they had an estimated street value of US $600,000, which would be approximately 92 million Jamaican dollars.
Police sources informed the news media that the suspected individual was scheduled to board a JetBlue plane destined for Fort Lauderdale when the person checked in the suitcase filled with the illegal substance. However, it was identified by security officers for inspection at the boarding gate. The suspect caught wind of their intentions and successfully slipped away while waiting to be taken with the suitcase to be interrogated. Checks were then made, and it was found that the suspect had left the airport.
An APB was launched by the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Narcotics Division in the surrounding areas when the police acquired an address connected to the suspect. The authorities managed to reach out to him, and he was persuaded to turn themself in. The Narcotics Police went to the address and searched the premises, and it was reported that they are still looking into the case.
It was also reported that law enforcement officers are waiting for the suspect to get an attorney so that they can begin their interrogations in earnest.