“The security forces wish to confirm reports that Christopher Lloyd Coke, for whom police is holding a warrant of arrest regarding extradition proceedings, was arrested this afternoon,” police commissioner Owen Ellington said Tuesday
Local church leader Reverend Al Miller earlier told reporters he “helped in the process to hand over Coke.” Ellington said police wanted to interview Miller.
The church leader has helped in negotiations to ease tensions after a nearly week-long assault last month on a slum to capture Coke left 73 dead and divided the island nation.
Jamaican police backed by troops descended on Coke’s stronghold of the impoverished Tivoli Gardens slum last month seeking to arrest him.
Coke is wanted in the United States on drug trafficking charges, but he is also hailed by many residents as a Robin Hood figure who offers security and small-time jobs on some of the world’s toughest streets.
“I would like to appeal to the families, friends and sympathizers of Christopher Coke to remain calm and to allow the law to take its course,” the police commissioner said.
“We would also like to reassure the country that we will continue our efforts to defeat organized crime and to restore law and order in this country while, at the same time, turning around the crime and security situation,” Ellington stressed.