Busta Rhymes not allowed into Britain

Sept. 25, 2008 at 7:01 PM
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LONDON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. rapper Busta Rhymes flew into London's City Airport Thursday, but was not allowed to enter the country due to his criminal record, officials said.

Rhymes is scheduled to perform at the Orange RockCorps concert at Royal Albert Hall in London Friday. Tickets to the event were earned by fans who did at least four hours of volunteer work.

The BBC said the 36-year-old hip-hop artist flew into London Thursday morning, but was refused entry to the United Kingdom because of "unresolved convictions." He has previously been arrested for assault and weapons possession.

Although immigration officials attempted to get him on an immediate flight to Amsterdam, Rhymes's attorney secured an injunction preventing that while he appealed the decision.

"We are selective about who we let into the U.K. and will oppose the entry to the U.K. of people who have been found guilty of serious criminal offenses abroad," a U.K. Borders Agency spokeswoman told the BBC. "It's important that people play by the rules and earn the right to stay."

"He has the necessary work-permit and has been in the country twice already this year, so we're a little puzzled that a question mark is now being placed over his ability to enter the country to perform to volunteers," countered Stephen Greene, the co-founder of RockCorps.

Rapper Ludacris has agreed to replace Rhymes if necessary, Greene told the BBC.

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