How To Escape a St.Kitts Jail

How to Escape a St.Kitts Jail


by Jeff Berwick

Hello from Miami,

I apologize for again missing last week’s Weekend Vigilante, but I have a pretty good excuse: I was in jail in St. Kitts in the West Indies!

As you can glean from my current location, I have escaped. The story of what happened might be quite interesting to you and also instructive on how to get out of jail in smaller countries like St. Kitts.

I had been in St. Kitts attending the Liberty Forum conference (which was excellent by the way) and part of the conference had a focus on getting St. Kitts economic citizenship (which is something TDV Passports offers). There were also some top government officials from St. Kitts who attended to promote to the audience of wealthy people on how to invest in and become a citizen of St. Kitts.

The island is very small (population: 53,000) and after presentations and meetings during the day and often going long into the night, I and two other younger conference participants headed off to a bar called Vibes, one of only about three bars on the entire island. I had actually previously named it “Bad Vibes”, presciently, due to there being a few too many police officers and military guys with machine guns around for my liking.

The two guys with me from the conference had spent a fair amount of time in Nevis drinking something called “Bumble Bees” which apparently has some psychoactive elements, like absinthe, that can make you pretty wild and crazy… and they were. I, on the other hand, was my usual self. I had a number of drinks, but remained pretty calm.

It was getting pretty late and, to be honest, my memory isn’t 100% clear as we had been drinking quite a bit. But, the last memory I had was that we were outside of the bar near the outdoor washrooms when all of a sudden we were surrounded by one security guard from the club, one military guy with a machine gun, and two cops in typical US style cop gear (bulletproof vests and the like).

I believe I might have said something like what I normally say, “What do you criminals want?” to the cops and the army guy.

Things began to escalate from there and then the cops got quite rough with me and began rifling through my pockets very forcefully. They all had guns and I didn’t so I didn’t try to stop them, but let them know that I found what they were doing to be a criminal act of aggression against a peaceful person.

They did the same with my friends and then all of a sudden one of the cops pointed to a small baggie of what looked like cocaine on the ground about ten feet away. That’s when their aggression really escalated. They started pushing us and demanding that we admit it was ours. I can’t speak for my friends, but I can speak for myself that it wasn’t mine. Yet, the whole time, I couldn’t help but think about the law proceedings that might follow after this situation, and maybe professionals like those from a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Law Firm could help us.


They kept getting more aggressive; mostly focusing on me now and then brought out some handcuffs and kept yelling at me and physically grabbing me very forcefully.

I tried to explain that even if that was my little baggy of cocaine, it isn’t a crime because there is no victim. If there is no victim there is no crime. And, in fact, the only crime being committed here was assault with a deadly weapon against us by the police.

Apparently they didn’t like my take on things too much. They grabbed me and very roughly threw me into a police car and then drove off with me in the car. They drove very fast and continued to shout at me, push me and make threats. It actually, at one point, was so bad that I considered ditching out of the car as they drove as they were almost making it seem like they were going to take me somewhere and make me “confess”. I didn’t especially feel like doing that!

At that point I began to feel quite a bit of fear (something I later felt bad about – more on that below) and decided maybe it was time that these guys understood exactly who they had just kidnapped. I told them that I was just one of the main speakers at the conference where numerous high level government officials were and that my worldwide media and services organization has been bringing investment into St. Kitts and had planned on bringing a lot more.

They became a little less aggressive after that but didn’t totally stop. So, I did what I often do when the government or police of a country is aggressing against me: I told them I am journalist with a very large audience of readers.

That quieted them down even more, but they still were being quite aggressive and so I did the last resort. I started bringing up the topic of lawyers, naming off a few of the top lawyers on the island with whom I had good relations and had just been meeting with and assured my kidnappers that those lawyers would be getting involved.

I think at that point they realized they didn’t have some dumb kid tourist that they could shake down and we took a turn off and ended up at the police station.

Once there the police captain on duty was quite good. He was very calm and patient, finally getting the two young (20s) steroid monkey cops behind me to stop hooting and hollering. He then asked me to go to a back room while he spoke to them.

I could hear the conversation from the dank, dungeon-like holding cell I was in.

The one larger cop kept affirming that he had found narcotics in my pocket, which I knew to be a lie. They talked about it for quite some time and they then called me back out and asked me if I had any narcotics in my pocket.

I told him that I absolutely, unquestionably did not and that I even had witnesses (my two friends) who saw me getting searched and nothing was found and restated that I did see some small packet on the ground quite some distance from me, as we all did after the police pointed at it.

The police captain again asked the cop if he is sure it was in my pocket. The cop looked a little less sure, but he also looked angry that I was putting up such a fight. But he then signed a piece of paper that stated that he had found something in my pocket.

After he had done that I continued to tell the police captain all that had transpired, that I had witnesses that could corroborate and told him my background. He even went on Wikipedia and on YouTube to watch some of my videos and seemed to believe me.

He then asked me to go back to the cell and I could again overhear their conversation. The police captain got quite stern with the cop and said, “This guy is a big businessman and is here at a conference with government officials promoting the island for business. Are you absolutely sure you found it in his pocket!”

Then there was quiet. It was quiet for a few minutes and finally the police chief opened the door and was quite nice and stated that both cops admitted they didn’t find anything in my pocket.

“Good!” I said, “Because that is the truth!”

I began to walk to the door and head to my hotel when he stopped me.

“I’m sorry,” he said, “But they have already filed the allegation and so I now have to keep you into custody until you are cleared.”

I looked at my watch: 3am.

“Well, how long will that take?” I asked, irritated.

“I need a superior to sign off on your release. I know you are innocent, but I simply can’t by our rules… and the earliest I can likely get a hold of them will be 6 or 7am,” he said.

I was very unhappy to hear this, but he explained how it all worked and was very nice about everything so I decided to acquiesce.

“OK, well, I am tired anyway, just get me a bed and I’ll sleep until they get me out,” I said.

“There are no beds… you can stay back in the cell on the floor or you can sit out here with me in the chair you are now in.”

I couldn’t sleep in either, but luckily I had my cell phone so I passed the time with it and let people know I was in jail in St. Kitts. Mostly just because I thought it was funny.

Little did I know that my network of tens or hundreds of thousands of people around the world would take it much more seriously than I did!

Much to my surprise, less than 5 minutes later an entire uproar had erupted amongst the Dollar Vigilante and anarchist communities and this meme (above: Free Jeff Berwick) started to go viral.

I laughed at the idea that I was in jail in St. Kitts on my smartphone watching this all happen!

I then asked the police captain if I could go have a cigarette and he said that I was not allowed to smoke in jail.

“Well, that’s the final straw!” I said to myself and I began to plan my escape.

The jail was more of a big house with numerous rooms and there appeared to be only two people on duty so I managed to find a way out through the back and walked out, lighting a cigarette and walking to my hotel to get some sleep in a good bed while subconsciously humming this song in my head:

It’s a very small island and my hotel was actually right across the street so I walked over and past one of the bellboys who looked surprised to see me as everyone on the island who was awake was aware of my arrest.

“Oh good, you were released,” he said.

“No,” I responded, “I just left.”

I made my way to my room when the police captain came jogging up behind me. He didn’t look overly angry and said, “Why’d you do that?”

I responded, “Because I don’t like it there.”

He motioned to come with him without making any act of aggression and I just sighed and went with him, saying, “This is ridiculous… you know I am innocent, why do I have to sleep on the floor all night? At least let me smoke.”

He responded, “We have rules, I’m sorry.”

As we returned to the police station/jail the phones started ringing off the hook. Apparently someone on Facebook had found the number of the police station and dozens, if not hundreds of people were phone bombing the police station.

I could generally hear the conversations as I was now sitting at his desk and everyone was quite cordial, but were letting him know that if I was not treated well, there would be repercussions on an international level.

After quite a few calls he looked up at me and said, “Who are you?”

I just gave him a nod.

Another call came in from a TDVer from Tokyo. “You have a call from Japan,” he said, “he wants to talk with you.”

I answered and it was a very nice, concerned person who wanted to verify that I was not being unduly harmed. I thanked him for his concern and let him know that I am being treated quite fairly except for the fact I couldn’t smoke.

By then it was 7am and the phones continued to ring. Then one of my lawyer friends from the conference had walked over (she only lives about a block away, it is a very small island!)

She brought in a criminal lawyer and they explained to me that because the cop had officially charged me, despite recanting his statement afterwards, I had two options. I could try to go to court immediately and get bail, but they said because I am a foreigner they may not grant it because I may be a flight risk.

“They got that right!” I said.

They then said that the other option was to request a court date as soon as possible to have me released of the charges and freed. But, they said, it might take a few days and since it is nearly Christmas the courts might soon be closed until after New Year’s!

They then went off to the court house to look at options.

At that point I again got concerned. I did not want to sleep in that jail for a month! Although I did think that if I could get a decent bed, it might not be too bad since they had WiFi and I had my laptop that I had just gotten from my room and maybe I could finally finish that book I had been working on.

But this no smoking thing just wouldn’t work.

I began planning my next escape. As I did, I Skyped my wife and told her the situation.

She told me, “Be strong. We are anarchists. They can’t defeat us nor hold us.”

My wife is the stronger one in the family. As I started searching the internet about St. Kitts and their laws I came across, “St. Kitts is one of the most strict in the entire region for drug laws often holding people for months or years on a small possession charge.”

I then REALLY started planning my next escape.

By now the night police captain was off his 12-hour shift and he came and apologized and told me he had been trying everything he could to get me out, but it was now in the hands of the system.

The new shift of all female police people were now at their desks, answering the never ending stream of phone calls still coming in. They looked very confused. One of them asked, “Who are you?”

I told them to look me up on the internet.

They all sat around a computer giggling and looking at photos and videos of me. “Well, this is better than the all male night crew,” I thought.

But I still was going to get out of there one way or another!

I overheard, and saw on Facebook, that all the people trying to help me were now regularly calling the Prime Minister’s office, among others.

By then it was 10am and having not slept at all the entire night I went to pass out on the floor in the jail cell, where I had requested to go because I couldn’t sleep in the chair in the office.

As I passed out I continued to hear phone calls and a general frenzy. I figured if by the time I woke up that I hadn’t gotten bail or a very quick trial to exonerate me, then I would call in one of many friends in the area with yachts and arrange a pick-up for my next escape… that was my final thought before I passed out.

If this had happened anywhere else, like California or somewhere, I’d probably have gotten a bail hearing, approached a Santa Ana Bail Bonds agency and been out of jail by now. Of course, the charges might’ve been dropped altogether, but well, since I’m not in the US but on a small West Indies island with tight-knit rules, I had to wait it out.

I awoke to the cute female police captain lightly tapping me on the shoulder in the dark, private cell.

“Oh, this could get interesting,” I briefly thought.

“We’re sorry, Mr. Berwick, you are free to go and free to travel.”

Slightly disappointed, as I thought she may be there for another reason, I then felt relieved.

“I thought I couldn’t go until I got a court date?” I asked.

“You must have some very high connections,” she said.

I then grabbed my stuff and caught a taxi right outside to the airport. I wasn’t going to wait around to see if they changed their mind!

I caught a flight to Miami and just by chance good friend, Luke Rudkowski, of was in town. He has spent nearly a decade fighting the system and helping free people who didn’t deserve to be in jail.

I recounted my story and we both laughed. I then told him, however, that I was disappointed in myself.

“Why?” he asked.

I said that twice during the previous night I felt scared. The most was when I was being roughed up by the police and the second was when I thought I might be in jail for a while. But, mostly it was when I was handcuffed and in the sole control of two out-of-control large cops who were roughing me up.

“I felt helpless in that position,” I explained. “I know that my wife, in that same situation would have sat proudly and indignant no matter what they did! I feel so disappointed that I was so scared in that situation.”

He told me that it was normal to feel that way, but he said that after having been brutalized by police countless times he has learned to stand solid, chest out and proud and not let them take away his sense of self and pride in his convictions.

He told me, “When you show them you are scared, they win. That is what they want… power over you.”

I replied, “I didn’t look scared, I don’t think, and was constantly indignant, but I felt scared.”

“That’s normal, my friend,” said Luke.


Some may read all of the above and assume I will never again go to St. Kitts and will stop doing business there, but they are wrong.

What happened to me that night could have happened on any country on Earth. Where there is public policing there will be cops who abuse their position of power. It happens every minute of every day in the US.

So, that is no blight against St. Kitts in general. In fact, for me personally, St. Kitts is probably one of the safest places in the world for me to now go. The police won’t ever try that with me again after this experience!

And, I also do wish to again say that besides the beat cops the police captain and others at the police station were as professional as could be expected.

In the end there are things to take note of in regards to any situation in which you get embroiled in the police system. And these work everywhere, not least of which in the US. If you get arrested for a victimless crime and/or have evidence planted on you:

1. Try to ensure you have connections in whichever jurisdiction you are in. In this case I was at a conference with top government officials and lawyers and got to know some of them very well and quickly formed a relationship. Try to give the sense that you have local, big connections

2. Always state you are a journalist. This works equally well with customs guards who may be antagonizing you. Right after I left St. Kitts I was sent to the backroom at the Miami airport for “secondary screening” in which they were quite antagonistic. When they asked me what I do I replied, as always now, “Journalist”. This almost immediately gets them concerned as they worry you may tell the world about their behavior. You don’t have to be a real journalist, if they ask further who you work for, say “freelance”. If they prod even further about where you are a journalist, you can even say you have done writing for large companies like “Facebook”. This is truthful if you have ever posted anything on Facebook.

3. Mention very quickly that you want to talk to your lawyer, and it is even best to know the name of a local lawyer if possible. This also makes most police back off.

4. Stand strong no matter how aggressive they are. When you show weakness it feeds them. When you show strength it concerns them. This doesn’t mean you can’t be scared, it just mean you try not to show it.

5. Build a strong social network. This is especially easy if you are a libertarian or anarchist as these groups are quite small and stick together and understand that helping people get free of baseless or victimless charges is important. There are organizations like Cop Block, for example, which is a large group of people who help fight these things. Or, communities like Just Us Jury Nullification who try to free victimless crime victims. Or groups like The Dollar Vigilante. Many of the people who created the uproar that helped free me came from this great group of individuals. You can get to know many of them best through TDV’s Facebook page or my personal Facebook page, both of which you should join. If you are ever in the same situation, we can help. Strength in numbers, after all.

There is also the TDV Groups (for subscribers only – but it is a social network well worth having for $15/month) that have TDVers around the world that you can contact before even visiting a place and most if not all would jump to your aid if you had an issue like I did in their area.

6. Whenever possible videotape the event or have friends/witnesses videotape. Video is like bug repellant to cops.

7. When all else fails, escape from jail. Or if you are an expert level vigilante, like me, escape from jail, get caught, then still get freed hours later on a presidential pardon. Don’t try the latter until you are a God Mode vigilante, however.

Until my next adventure,

Jeff Berwick
Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business

8 Comments on How To Escape a St.Kitts Jail

  1. Only three bars on the island of St. Kitts???!

    The famous drink in Nevis is called a Killer Bee!

  2. Only three bars on the island of St. Kitts???!

    The famous drink in Nevis is called a Killer Bee!

  3. Stop trying to make yourself look good by bringing down MY island please.
    Your story is so far from fact that you just might be suffering from some sort of mental illness.
    God help you! To the readers, don’t waste your time.

  4. Stop trying to make yourself look good by bringing down MY island please.
    Your story is so far from fact that you just might be suffering from some sort of mental illness.
    God help you! To the readers, don’t waste your time.

  5. You are an arsehole and using the circulation awvailable to you to pass on bullshit. There is no way that they accosted you for sitting quietly at a bar If this even happened. tmell the truth. You more likely tried to trash the place and the owner called the cops. Only three bars on the island! Yeah right. They should have just drowned you.

  6. You are an arsehole and using the circulation awvailable to you to pass on bullshit. There is no way that they accosted you for sitting quietly at a bar If this even happened. tmell the truth. You more likely tried to trash the place and the owner called the cops. Only three bars on the island! Yeah right. They should have just drowned you.


    Many thanks to Jeff Berwick:

    I call this article, A survival kit…

    It’s a long article, I will advise everyone,
    take the time to read it, One day
    Jeff Berwick story can help you also in a
    Similar situation… Jeff escaped from the belly of the beast, a St. Kitts Jail….


    Many thanks to Jeff Berwick:

    I call this article, A survival kit…

    It’s a long article, I will advise everyone,
    take the time to read it, One day
    Jeff Berwick story can help you also in a
    Similar situation… Jeff escaped from the belly of the beast, a St. Kitts Jail….

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