Reggae star Vybz Kartel breaks out of jail in Jamaica
Dancehall artist, who faces two murder charges, is now Jamaica's most wanted man
DANCEHALL reggae star Vybz Kartel has reportedly become the 'most wanted man in Jamaica' after it was claimed he had broken out of jail in what is thought to be the biggest prison escape in the country's history.
The rapper, who had been charged with two murders and other crimes including firearms offences, allegedly led the breakout in which one prison guard died of a heart attack and a dozen were injured.
Jamaican entertainment website The Hype Life Mag said Kartel and a group of seven other prisoners took control of the Kingston remand centre where he was being held at around 1am, using guns that had been smuggled into the facility. Two guards were reportedly shot during the escape.
The group broke out of the prison in a maintenance vehicle, it said. One of the gang was later re-arrested but Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, remained at large. He and the other escapees were later described as Jamaica's "most wanted". Ironically that is a name of one of Kartel's albums.
The dancehall performer is one of the biggest names in reggae but has a controversial background. His wildly homophobic and frequently obscene lyrics have caused outrage and his music was banned in Guyana earlier this year because it brought "nothing positive" to the entertainment industry.
Kartel, who comes from Portmore near Kingston, a place he refers to as 'Gaza', has also been criticised for glorifying violence. He frequently boasts of using guns and in one of his songs he announced: "Mi murder people inna broad daylight."
Earlier this year he was charged with murdering music promoter Barrington 'Bossie' Bryan and another man, Clive 'Lizard' Williams, whose body has yet to be found. Kartel was remanded in custody earlier this month and was due back in court today.