A man is suing an airline he travelled with after claiming he was unwittingly turned into a drugs mule and had cocaine planted in his suitcase.
Simeon Wilson, 50, had just spent a week in his native Guyana celebrating his elderly dad’s birthday and was flying back into the US.
He says when he arrived at JFK Airport in New York, Mr Wilson was so tired from his journey that he failed to notice that someone had secured a necktie around the handle of his luggage as he picked it up from baggage claim, according to a lawsuit.
He claims there was no necktie on the suitcase when he checked it in with Caribbean Airlines at Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan Airport for his trip in October 2018.
He was pulled aside by US Customs agents and arrested after 2,000 grams of cocaine was found inside his luggage, reports the New York Post.
Wilson claims he has “never touched, handled, sold or even seen drugs in his life,” and didn’t put them into his own suitcase, court papers claim.
“You go out for a vacation you don’t expect anybody to go and tamper with your bag,” he told The New York Post.
About 10 weeks later, prosecutors dropped the charges after determining Wilson’s bag had been tampered with “while in the sole custody of Caribbean Airlines,” the legal filing states.
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But he says his reputation in the Queens Guyanese community had already been ruined by this point and he lost his job, he says in the Brooklyn Federal Court suit accusing the airline of negligence.
To this day Wilson is frequently pulled aside by Customs at airports because his name is flagged. He 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.
“What Mr Wilson went through was a terrible ordeal and he should be compensated for the airline’s negligence,” said his lawyer, Amy Robinson.
Robinson noted the 2012 case of Roger Levans, who sued Delta Airlines after someone alleged inserted drugs into his bag after he handed it to the airline.
“It is particularly outrageous since his has happened to other passengers before,” she said.
Wilson seeks unspecified damages.
Daily Star Online has contacted Caribbean Airlines for comment.
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