VICE-PRESIDENT of the People’s National Party (PNP) and Member of Parliament for Manchester North Western Mikael Phillips has confirmed that he is the younger brother of the Jamaican-American man, who was taken into custody following a major cocaine bust at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Monday.
The man is being held on reasonable suspicion of breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act, a police source told the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday.
In a media release issued on Wednesday, Phillips, in distancing himself from the incident, said “the issue is unrelated to me and therefore I am and remain unconnected to it”.
He said the man is “of the half-blood and who has not resided in Jamaica for over 30 years. 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…I am not the subject of any investigation and have no reason to be involved with it,” Phillips asserted.
A release from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Corporate Communications Unit on Tuesday said that approximately 12 kilogrammes of cocaine with an estimated street value of over US$600,000 (about $92 million) was seized during security checks after anomalies were detected in a blue suitcase destined for the United States.
The police source disclosed that the would-be passenger who was scheduled to depart on a JetBlue flight to Fort Lauderdale attempted to check in “a suitcase loaded with cocaine”.
After being identified by airline agents at the boarding gate, the suspect managed to slip away while waiting to be escorted for his suitcase to be checked.
“He left the location and departed the airport before he was held [by the police],” the source said.
A man hunt was launched by the JCF Narcotics Division in the Kingston 6 area and the suspect was apprehended.
“The police went and did a search of an address that is connected to him and he was persuaded to report to the police after a conversation,” the source said.
The narcotics police are continuing investigations into the matter.