A Syrian couple, who arrived from the Cayman Islands en route to the United States in early August, has asked for asylum in Jamaica.
Responding to queries from The Sunday Gleaner, the Ministry of National Security last week identified the couple as Fadi Al Lababidi and Hayat Hejazi.
“They arrived in Jamaica from the Cayman Islands on Sunday, Aug. 4, but were denied permission to land,” the ministry said.
According to The Sunday Gleaner, Jamaican immigration officials became suspicious after the couple was found to be carrying Syrian passports with identical Jan. 1 birthdays.
Under questioning, the couple claimed they had reservations at a Kingston hotel and would be visiting the island for two weeks.
However when the hotel was contacted, no reservations had been made for the couple and they did could not say how they planned to fund their purported two-week stay.
“The couple told them (immigration officials) they came to Jamaica for vacation; however checks revealed they did not have a reservation with a hotel, and they had limited funds and no credit or debit card to sustain their stay in Jamaica,” said the security ministry.
“The immigration authorities also said there were discrepancies with the issue date of the visa for Ms. Hejazi,” the ministry added.
The two were refused entry and were told that they would be returned to the Cayman Islands on Aug. 6.
The couple requested asylum in Jamaica, as they said they would not be going back to Syria.
Read the rest of the story: Jamaica Gleaner