1. buseman
    Acting on a tip, police find Christopher 'Dudus' Coke disguised as a woman. Coke was also wanted in the U.S., and the hunt for him provoked violence last month that left 76 people dead.

    Reporting from Kingston, Jamaica, and Bogota, — Ending a monthlong search that cost 76 people their lives, Jamaican authorities on Tuesday captured Christopher "Dudus" Coke, 42, an alleged trafficker in guns and drugs who is also wanted in the United States.

    Acting on a tip, police captured Coke in St. Catherine Parish on the outskirts of Kingston. He was dressed like a woman and wearing a wig, police said.

    Coke was in the company of the Rev. Al Miller, who earlier had mediated the surrender of Coke's brother Leighton to police. Coke was on his way to surrender at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston when he was stopped at a police checkpoint, Miller told a Reuters reporter.

    The police searched the vehicle that I was in, and they recognized him and held him, Miller said.

    Police said they are now seeking to arrest Miller, who was not detained with Coke and remains at large.

    The capture occurred two days after police offered a $5-million reward for information leading to Coke's arrest.

    I knew when they offered so much money, he would not be allowed to remain at large too long, a vendor in downtown Kingston said.

    U.S. authorities initially requested the extradition of Coke in August after he was indicted in New York on drug- and gun-smuggling charges. Although he first declined to execute an arrest order, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding finally launched an operation to capture Coke last month in the Tivoli Gardens slum, which is Coke's power base.

    Authorities met with resistance from Coke's gang members, and 73 civilians and three security force members died in gun battles. More than 900 suspects were arrested and held in the National Arena for several days.

    Golding's reluctance to arrest Coke had raised suspicions that the leader was protecting him, and the deadly manhunt nearly cost Golding his job. Opponents, including former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, urged Golding to resign, and he narrowly survived a no-confidence vote in Jamaica's Parliament on June 1.

    The case has led to scrutiny of the close relations between some Jamaican politicians and so-called dons, or neighborhood ward bosses, of whom Coke was the most powerful.

    As the Caribbean became a major drug-trafficking route in recent years, U.S. authorities say, some dons, allegedly including Coke, became involved in the narcotics trade and other illegal activities, with some accruing more power and wealth than their former political patrons.

    Coke allegedly was the leader of the so-called Shower Posse, the most powerful Jamaican drug-smuggling gang, with members in New York and other American cities along the East Coast.

    Coke's father is a former Shower Posse boss who was burned to death in jail in 1992 before he could be extradited.

    A state of emergency and curfew is still in effect for much of Kingston, and the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory for the capital and environs.

    by Rasbert Turner and Chris Kraul


  1. davestate
    Jamaican police arrest Christopher 'Dudus' Coke

    Police say legal proceedings against Mr Coke will commence immediately

    Police in the Jamaican capital, Kingston, are on high alert after the arrest of the island's most wanted man, Christopher "Dudus" Coke.
    Mr Coke was taken into police custody at a roadblock on the outskirts of Kingston late on Tuesday.
    He is wanted in the United States on drugs and firearms charges and attempts to arrest him last month sparked violence in which more than 70 people died.
    He was in the company of a Christian pastor, who said Mr Coke was on his way to the US embassy to hand himself in.

    Jamaica's information minister, Daryl Vaz, spoke to the World Today.


    Elon Parkinson is a presenter for CVM TV in Jamaica.
    Why was Christopher Coke trying to give himself up, if that was what he was trying to do?

    Last updated: 23 june, 2010 - 12:55 GMT

  2. davestate
    Jamaica's 'Godfather'

    Available to listen.
    Last broadcast on Sun, 30 May 2010, 11:05 on BBC World Service


    In August 2009 the US government filed an extradition order on a Jamaican citizen - Christopher "Dudus" Coke - to face charges of drug trafficking and gun running.
    Dudus is revered in the Tivoli Gardens district of the capital Kingston; inhabitants say he protects and provides for them in way the Jamaican government does not.
    Now, Jamaican police say they have arrested suspected drug lord on the outskirts of Kingston.
    The 41-year-old is accused of being the leader of the notorious Shower Posse, which US authorities say operates an international drug and gun smuggling network. It has also been blamed for numerous murders.
    Mr Coke faces life in prison if convicted on charges filed against him in New York.
    Before his arrest Nina Robinson travelled to Kingston for Assignment to find out why "Dudus" is so powerful – both within his community and within the government.

  3. Terrapinzflyer
  4. Terrapinzflyer
    Jamaican alleged drug lord 'Dudus' extradited to US

    Suspected drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke has arrived in New York to face drug and gun-trafficking charges after being extradited from Jamaica.

    Mr Coke was flown from Kingston after waiving his rights to challenge the extradition.

    He faces life in prison if convicted on charges filed against him in New York.

    Attempts to capture him in May led to clashes in which scores of people died. He was finally detained on Tuesday.

    The US justice department said Mr Coke was expected to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court on Friday.

    Earlier, Mr Coke, 41, made a brief appearance before a Jamaican judge to announce that he was waiving his rights to challenge the extradition.

    Mr Coke said he believed he could win the case in the Jamaican courts.

    But he added that he would go to the US to stand trial for the sake of his family, the people of Tivoli in west Kingston and Jamaica.

    "Everyone, the whole country, has been adversely affected by the process that has surrounded my extradition and I hope that my action today will go some way towards healing all who have suffered," he said in a statement.

    The US justice department says Mr Coke is one of the world's most dangerous drug lords, but his supporters say he is a community leader.

    Tivoli Gardens clashes
    Mr Coke is accused of being the leader of the notorious Shower Posse, which US authorities say operates an international drug and gun smuggling network. It has also been blamed for numerous murders.

    The pursuit of Mr Coke has shed light on the links between politicians and gang leaders in Jamaica.

    Prime Minister Bruce Golding is said to have relied on Mr Coke to turn out the vote at election time in the Tivoli Gardens district he represents in parliament, and which the Shower Posse controls.

    When Mr Coke was first indicted in the US last August, Mr Golding initially fought the extradition, arguing that it was based on flawed evidence.

    But after months of delays and amid growing local and international criticism, he agreed to extradite the suspect and signed an arrest warrant in May.

    However, gunmen loyal to Mr Coke in Tivoli Gardens barricaded the streets and mounted attacks against the police.

    A state of emergency was declared and more than 70 people were killed in four days of gun battles, during which Mr Coke was able to escape. The security forces have since been accused of using excessive force.

    The extradition of a man the US authorities call "one of the world's most dangerous narcotics kingpins" looks like the end of a violent story. But it may just be the beginning.

    What will be fascinating in the expected court case is whether he speaks of the alleged links between Jamaica's criminal gangs and its political establishment.

    These links are assumed by many in the Caribbean to be very strong.

    At a court hearing in Jamaica, Mr Coke said he had decided to face justice in the US in the interests of his family and country.

    He might have added himself to that list. There had been some speculation in Jamaica that Mr Coke might end up dead rather than extradited, as those with ties to him sought to shut him up for good.

    Matthew Price,
    BBC News, New York

    Friday, 25 June 2010
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