Commissioner of Police of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), Gary Griffith has apologized to Jamaican reggae icon Mark “Buju Banton” Myrie over a search carried out by the Organized Crime and Intelligence Unit (OCIU) of his Hilton Trinidad hotel room about 24 hours after he arrived in Trinidad on a private jet for “I am Legend Concert.”
However, the police came up empty handed after the raid, which was carried out for illegal drugs following which Griffith went to Buju’s room around midnight on Saturday and made the apology.
Griffith, in a Whatsapp message confirmed that he met with the Jamaican reggae singer and promised to launch an investigation into the incident. He also provided images of the meeting.
Griffith said the OCIU officers did not carry out proper surveillance before acting on the information. He announced a major overhaul of the OCIU following the raid.
The CoP gave Buju the assurance that his visit will be peaceful and incident-free.
Representatives from the Jamaica High Commission were present for the meeting with the Commissioner of Police, during which Buju expressed love for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
The top cop said he did not sanction the search and somebody dropped the ball with respect to the action.
Buju, 45, took to his Instagram account where he revealed that police officers visited his hotel room with a search warrant.
“I am chilling in my hotel room and the cops came, a whole bunch of them, said they had a warrant to search my room and whole bunch of stuff,” he said.
Griffith was criticized for appearing on stage with Buju at the concert the following night, which attracted more than 25,000 fans at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Easter Sunday.
He, however, defended his decision to appear on stage at the concert stating if he had not done so it would have resulted in a strained relationship between Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.
The police raid, Griffith said, “was set to cause a major rift between our country and Jamaica. This was because of poor procedure by the TTPS in the conduct of the search. Hence the TTPS may have been directly responsible for such a rift.”
Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley said he was pleased with the way the controversy was handled over the search of the Jamaican reggae star room by Griffith.
It was Buju’s first appearance in Trinidad after he was released from prison in December last year after serving seven of his 10 years in jail in 2011 in the USA for his part in setting up a cocaine deal in Florida because a Georgia judge dismissed the gun charge, reducing his sentence.