Actor Barkhad Abdi is set to meet with the United States customs officials for a hearing after he was detained at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on February 17. The actor had just come back from London where he received a Best Actor in a Supporting Role award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for his performance in the 2013 film Captain Phillips.
The Somali-born actor has a permanent residency status in the U.S. If he didn’t, Abdi would not have been permitted to enter the country at all because of his criminal history. Abdi’s most recent case was in August 2012, when he and four of his friends were arrested and charged with drug possession by the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office in Iowa. The charge was dismissed by the Iowa Court.
Abdi’s rap sheet contained incidents starting from 2004. On February 2 of that year, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail, a year of probation, and a fine of $1000 after providing false information to a police officer and for buying liquor below the age limit. He was only 18 at that time.
In Minnesota on June 1, 2005, Abdi was charged with credit card fraud and sentenced to 200 days in prison with two years of probation and a $500 fine. He also has a number of traffic violations.
Abdi’s criminal history was brought to light some weeks ago in a British tabloid. The actor responded by saying that he made mistakes in order to satisfy some of his friends. The mistakes shaped who he is now, and that he had already paid the price for his actions. Little did he know that those mistakes called for a check-in interview with customs officials years later.
This week’s hearing is standard procedure and Abdi may only be asked to demonstrate that he is admissible into the U.S. It is unlikely that the BAFTA winner would be deported since the agency usually only does that in serious cases.
Before winning the role of Abduwali Muse in Captain Phillips, Abdi worked as a limousine driver and also sold mobile phones in the 24 Mall in Minneapolis.
Barkhad Abdi's story
Image via YouTube