Six Jamaicans travelling through Panama to various destinations were not allowed to board their connecting flight in that country on Saturday.
The Jamaicans were en route to the Netherlands.
Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith sought answers from the authorities in Panama as to why the Jamaicans were not allowed to board their flight.
The Minister, in a series of tweets on Sunday, shared that she was advised that the Jamaicans were not facing deportation, a claim that was being made on social media. She said her information was that they were not allowed to board the flight because of the airline’s refusal.
“The relevant airline was not forthcoming on the reasons for refusal,” the minister said.
Johnson Smith said Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Panama tried to assist.
“We were advised that the Jamaicans were not being deported but due to the airline’s refusal, they were not landed and were required to remain at the airport until the next return flight to JA,” Johnson Smith tweeted.
She said her ministry has also started to make enquiries of the Dutch Government as “they (the Jamaicans) were next due to travel on KLM to the Netherlands”.
Johnson Smith stressed that the Jamaican authorities will be making further enquiries of the Panamanian Government on the issue, including “the alleged conditions in which the nationals were placed at the airport”.
The affected individuals are being encouraged to lodge formal complaints by contacting the Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Ministry at email@example.com.