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Popcaan has been detained at Heathrow Airport by the Home Office

The dancehall star has been appealing to the Jamaican Prime Minister for help

  • Megan Townsend
  • 6 July 2022
Popcaan has been detained at Heathrow Airport by the Home Office

Popcaan has been detained at Heathrow Airport, allegedly due to "information sent by his country" to the Home Office, according to a series of videos on Instagram.

The dancehall star, real name Andre Sutherland, is appealing for Jamaican prime minister Andrew Holness to investigate why he is being held, and to secure his release.

In the series of videos posted on Popcaan's Instagram stories, he is shown sitting in a booth in Heathrow Airport holding a letter from the UK Border Force.

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"So I'm being detained right now, as you know," he says in the 20-second-long clip. "I'm in the UK, they've given me this paper and detained me, because of information that was sent by my country, that I should be stopped every time I'm here — and I wanna know why."

In a second clip, he tagged the Prime Minister of Jamaica's official Instagram handle, calling for an explanation: "I wonder why Mr Prime Minister. I would like to draw your attention to this once again."

Popcaan's lawyer, Bert Samuels, labelled his treatment by the London airport "harassment," and a consequence of the Jamaican state "putting a red flag on his name" in a statement on Twitter.

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"Can you believe an artist who carries our flag high and with no criminal record being embarrassed in a foreign country because his own country says he is a wrongdoer?"

This isn't the first time Popcaan has been held due to information passed to the UK from the Jamaican government.

In January 2022, he was held for 4 hours after arriving in England from Ghana, after Jamaican officials had allegedly told the Home Office he was a "gang leader."

He posted on Twitter at the time: "I would like to know why someone with authority in Jamaica send information to England immigration that I’m a gang leader and I got charge with firearm, this is not cool at all from my own country, why I have to be sitting in immigration for over 3 hours??"

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However, Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina J Smith claimed on social media that the Jamaican government had not requested Popcaan's detainment.

"The Govt of JA has not requested that @popcaanmusic be detained, but there are many reasons why a traveller may be detained. I have asked the High Commission to inquire into the matter as early as they are able, so that they may advise."

Neither the Home Office or UK Border Force have released statements regarding the matter.

Megan Townsend is Mixmag's Deputy Digital Editor, follow her on Twitter

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