Friday, June 19, 2009

Neville Staples JA Arrest Fiasco Follow-up

From today's Coventry Telegraph (UK):

The Specials' Neville Staple in Jamaica drugs quiz
Jun 19 2009
By Helen Thomas

THE Specials singer Neville Staple was left stranded in Jamaica after being searched for drugs by customs officers and missing his plane.

The 54-year-old, on a week-long break on the Caribbean island, was due to return on Monday for a couple of reunion concerts.

But just as he was about to board the plane at Jamaica’s Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, he was taken away by officers.

They searched his bags and questioned him but found no evidence of any illegal substances.

By the time they had finished, Staple had missed his plane back to Britain and has had to miss a couple of performances with the band.

Speaking to the Coventry Telegraph from his home in Jamaica, Staple said: “It was all a big misunderstanding. I’ve been doing a lot of travelling and have been going backwards and forwards to Jamaica since my mum died in December.

"I never have a lot of baggage because I have things over here and I must have been red flagged or something.

“I got to the airport late and I was saying things like ‘come on’ to try and speed things up so I could get on my plane and I think I attracted their attention.

“They’ve seen me travelling through customs quite often and I think they got suspicious.

"When I went through security I was taken aside to a small room.

"They had me there for a while and searched through my bags but obviously I didn’t have any drugs. I wasn’t arrested.”

After he missed his plane he returned to his home in Christiana to wait for the next flight home tomorrow.

Staple said: “I have my own house here so I’m staying here. I came over to put a new roof on it. I’d only come out here for a week.

“One of the customs guys was from England and he knew who I was and knew The Specials.

"I was really annoyed to miss the plane because I’ve missed a couple of shows.”

Staple was born in Jamaica but moved to the UK as a small child.

He joined The Specials in 1977 and is known for his vocal style, known as toasting.

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