Jamaican authorities have finally arrested the notorious drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke.
Mr Coke, who is subject to an extradition order from the United States, is facing charges of drug and gun running.
An early attempt to arrest Mr Coke led to huge loss of life in the Kingston area with over 70 people being killed during a four day stand off with police. As a result the Government has announced an inquiry into the incident to respond to the many claims that police shot innocent people indiscriminately.
Mr Coke was reputedly the leader of the world famous “Shower Posse” allegedly responsible for an international criminal network that spans some cities in the US and the UK. However Mr Coke denies all such charges and states that he is simply a legitimate businessman and commands huge support of many of the shantytown poor in parts of Kingston.
Mr Coke was arrested after a routine roadblock on Mandela Highway on Tuesday afternoon Jamaican Police Commissioner Owen Ellington told reporters. Security forces immediately moved him to a secure location.
Commissioner Ellington said:
“Coke is being held now in a secure facility, and the security forces are taking every step possible to ensure his safety and well-being while he is in our custody The legal proceedings will commence immediately, once we are able to settle on the issue of legal representation and reach an agreement with the director of public prosecutions on where the hearings will be held, a court date will be set, and we anticipate that we can achieve that within 48 hours.”
There is a real fear that supporters of Mr. Coke will try and free him from jail or lead to demonstrations.
Mr. Ellington appealed for clam;
“I would like to appeal to the families, friends and sympathisers of Christopher Coke to remain calm and to allow the law to take its course,” he added.
“We would also like to reassure the country that we will continue our efforts to defeat organised crime and to restore law and order in this country while, at the same time, turning around the crime and security situation.”
The affair threatens to destabilise Jamaican Government as result of the close association between PM Bruce Golding and Mr. Coke whose stronghold was in the PM’s constituency. The PM tried to prevent the extradition of Coke to the US and has been subjected to severe criticism by Jamaican press and others who have alleged that the PM was well aware of Mr. Coke alleged crimes.