Buju Banton warns against T&T swindler

Dancehall deejay Buju Banton has not travelled an easy road since 2009 when officers from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) arrested him in Tampa, Florida with evidence he might have participated in a drug deal. Convicted of conspiracy charges, the Grammy-winning reggae artist is confined to a Florida state facility but controversy has not eluded the popular Jamaican personality.

Allegedly, the incarcerated Banton is the victim of a scam in Trinidad & Tobago that could again put him in the middle of another legal entrapment case.

This time though, Banton is the complainant.

After serving half his conviction time for charges he claims was obtained by entrapment, his attorney Charles Ogletree and the Buju Banton Defense Support Committee — a group formed to aid in his appeal — released a statement disclaiming permission for an individual in the twin islands of Trinidad & Tobago to book concerts the deejay did not authorize.

“A certain individual in Trinidad has approached promoters with the false claim that he is the local agent for renowned reggae musician Buju Banton,” the statement said. “He has further sought to swindle monies by stating he is authorized to collect funds for a concert being held for Buju Banton in Trinidad during this year.”

The joint statement added that:

“We wish to warn the public that it is totally untrue. Buju Banton has not given such rights to anyone in Trinidad. Nor is a concert being organized at this time.”

While awaiting a second trial, Banton was temporarily released to perform at a Miami concert. However, since that he has never been freed to perform or appear at any event and particularly none outside of US jurisdiction.

While benefit concerts could help raise funds for his appeal and legal defense, there have not been any announcements for any such event slated for the Caribbean.

In addition, the lawyer cautioned the individual who is allegedly impersonating or acting as Banton’s agent to cease and desist and warned that if caught could face legal reprisals.

“Anyone seeking to do this would suffer legal consequences,” the lawyer emphasized.

He also asked promoters and the general community to co-operate with his cause by reporting this impersonator and anyone acting in a similar fashion.

“We urge that you immediately inform the authorities of anyone who solicits monies from you for that purpose.”

With Banton still locked up after two trials and being sentenced to serve 10-years for conspiracy to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine his main focus has been to appeal the conviction and prove his innocence. He has consistently argued that he did not receive a fair trial and is determined to overturn the conviction.

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