25 May 2010

Kingston police storm drug leader's base

9:01 pm on 25 May 2010

Jamaican police backed by troops have stormed the stronghold of a drug lord wanted by the United States.

It is reported from the capital, Kingston, that security forces have entered the Tivoli Gardens where Christopher "Dudus" Coke, 41, has been in hiding since the Jamaican government last week signed an extradition order for him.

Although popular for helping impoverished Jamaicans in his neighbourhood, he is wanted by the United States on charges of illegal drug and arms trafficking and faces life imprisonment if convicted.

The government on Sunday declared a state of emergency in parts of Kingston and Prime Minister Bruce Golding vowed "strong and decisive action" to restore order.

The BBC reports the Tivoli Gardens area is represented by Mr Golding in parliament.

Last week, the prime minister reversed nine months of opposition to Mr Coke's extradition and admitted that he had mishandled the case.