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Friday, June 18, 2021

Outrage at kidnap hoax | Lead Tales

WESTERN BUREAU:

Whereas the world was satisfied JetBlue Airways stewardess Kalina Collier and her mother Candice Walker had gone lacking in Jamaica, Walker was recorded leaving and coming into the Ocean Coral Spring Resort in Trelawny every day, driving a rented Mazda motor automobile.

Between February 2 and 14, Walker, a Jamaican residing in New York, exited the gates on the property 14 instances whereas social-media influencers and YouTubers shared allegations that the mom and daughter had been kidnapped in Jamaica and that the Authorities was in collusion with the abductors.

Collier, who arrived on the island on January 28 and checked into the Ocean Coral Spring Resort, examined optimistic twice for the coronavirus and was positioned in quarantine.

Nevertheless, in a weird video, which she launched whereas quarantined, she urged that she had examined unfavorable and was being held towards her will whereas her captors had cameras put in in her room.

These ‘cameras’ proved to be movement sensors which can be put in in all 513 rooms on the Ocean Coral Spring Resort. The sensors are used as a part of the conservation thrust on the resort.

Collier additional alarmed her followers that in the event that they didn’t hear from her, they have been to imagine she had been kidnapped. That hoax spawned a collection of hashtags: #findKalina, #whereisKalina, and #kalinacollier.

Inside days, the information went viral.

“Kalina lied to a whole lot of hundreds of individuals on social media, telling them she felt she was both being trafficked or feared she was being kidnapped,” the resort’s director of gross sales, Tanesha Clarke, advised The Gleaner on Sunday.

“We’re not stunned individuals reacted on this manner as a result of the allegations have been very severe. And her refusal to return to all of the individuals she had lied to brought on not solely the lodge, however the island, to be doing harm management now.”

Jamaican lodges are required to put aside quarantine or isolation rooms for visitors who check optimistic for the virus. Ocean Coral Spring has six such rooms in keeping with stipulations below the Catastrophe Danger Administration Act and by the Tourism Product Improvement Firm.

WATCH: Outrage at kidnap hoax

 

Collier was accommodated for free of charge for the quarantine interval in a Backyard Junior Suite, with a balcony overlooking one of many resort’s swimming swimming pools. Her room was on the bottom ground and her mother’s on the third ground on the identical block.

The Jamaica-born mom was accommodated on a complimentary foundation for 3 nights, out of a goodwill religion, mentioned the resort. She was provided a misery fee for the opposite 10 nights whereas her daughter remained quarantined.

“Anybody who exams optimistic, their companion who needs to remain on the lodge to accompany them is prolonged a particular diminished fee,” mentioned Clarke.

Lodge supervisor Guillermo Lachapel mentioned the accusations have affected enterprise on the resort in addition to the vacation spot.

“We now have had individuals eager to cancel their reservations on account of this,” he advised The Gleaner.

On Sunday, Collier and her mom departed the island, however not earlier than the airline stewardess was cleared to journey by the Ministry of Well being and Wellness.

Her keep in Jamaica turned so taxing that the police have been pressured to launch an announcement dispelling the accusations as baseless and mischievous.

Collier mentioned on Instagram shortly after the police issued their assertion that she didn’t say she had gone lacking in Jamaica.

Even america Embassy, when requested to remark, said that it was conscious of studies of an American citizen who had not too long ago travelled to Jamaica and claimed to have been held towards their will.

However the embassy mentioned drily: “The US authorities offers all applicable consular providers to US residents in emergency conditions abroad and absolutely investigates claims of illegal detention. Nevertheless, because of the Privateness Act of 1974, we can’t launch any details about a US citizen with out his or her written consent.”

An announcement from Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett Sunday night additionally accused Collier of peddling falsehoods.

Bartlett mentioned Collier and her household have been in fixed communication with representatives from his ministry in addition to officers from the Ministry of Well being, the Jamaica Constabulary Pressure, and the lodge.

“I be a part of the decision by the police who’re warning individuals to desist from sharing deceptive social-media posts claiming Miss Collier has been kidnapped as sharing false info can represent an offence below the legislation,” he mentioned.

“It’s pretend information.”

Bartlett mentioned he may additionally affirm that the Falmouth police had even visited the resort to confirm that Collier was not being held below duress.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com

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