ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has confirmed that he was searched by American Airlines officials at Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) before embarking on an official overseas trip.
Thomas broke his silence on the issue after the local media called for a public explanation from American Airlines and an apology to the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Thomas told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that he had no problems with the search which occurred at the Airport’s VIP lounge last month.
“It’s a complicated matter. It’s not something that I could clarify. The Airport Authority would have to clarify it,” Prime Minister Thomas said, adding “no I had no problem with it. It’s a procedure. To me it does not make a difference to me”.
The incident has caused a major embarrassment to the Grenada Airports Authority (GAA) which has since written to the Prime Minister apologising for the ordeal, local media has reported.
Numerous calls to American Airlines country manager Gillian Thompson seeking clarification have not been returned.
An editorial in The New Today weekly newspaper has accused the airline of “belittling the Office of Prime Minister” and criticised his security detail for allowing the search to take place.
“I was not really concern about that. If it ought not to have happened it should not have happen” Prime Minister Thomas said.
“They should have proper guidelines and procedures but it was not something that I was too worried about”.
It is believed to be the first time that a sitting Prime Minister of Grenada was searched while leaving the country.