A US-based Guyanese man, who was arrested in 2018 at the JFK International Airport with more than four pounds of cocaine in his suitcase, has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Caribbean Airlines (CAL).
According to the New York Post, Simeon Wilson, 50, had spent a week in Guyana during October 2018, celebrating his father’s birthday. Upon his return at the JFK Airport, he was arrested after the drug was detected in his suitcase.
According to the lawsuit, due to his exhaustion from the overnight flight, he did not notice that a necktie was placed around the handle of his suitcase.
However, Wilson claimed that there was no necktie on his suitcase when he was checked by Caribbean Airlines agents at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
He was subsequently arrested by customs agents and detained after two bags containing the cocaine were found inside his suitcase.
In the court documents filed, Wilson claimed that “[I] had never touched, handled, sold or even seen drugs in [my] life, and was sure I did not put them in my suitcase.”
The prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against Wilson after ten weeks in custody since it was determined that Wilson’s bag had been tampered with while in the sole custody of Caribbean Airlines.
But by this time, his family had bailed him out of jail. However, the man said that his reputation in the Queens, New York, Guyanese community had been ruined, and he lost his job as a janitor.
In the lawsuit, the man accused the airline of negligence while noting that since the incident, he is frequently being pulled aside by Customs agents at various airports because his name is flagged. He also said that he now has to carry proof that his case was dropped.
“I travel with my two hands. I don’t bring no suitcase at all. Nobody can screw with me anymore,” he said.
His lawyer, Amy Robinson, said, “What Mr Wilson, went through was a terrible ordeal, and he should be compensated for the airline’s negligence.”
Robinson cited the 2012 case of Roger Levans, who sued Delta Airlines after someone allegedly inserted drugs into his bag after he handed it to the airline. “It is particularly outrageous since this has happened to other passengers before,” she said.
Wilson is seeking unspecified damages. The New York Post added that Caribbean Airlines declined to comment.