Another high-profile musician has come forward saying staff from one of the Star’s hotels called police over alleged drug possession after searching his room without permission.
But ARIA award-winning rapper Matt Colwell, aka 360, was cleared of any wrongdoing by police in an embarrassing incident for all concerned.
Colwell said last November he was marched to his room by Australian Federal Police when his entry card failed at the Astral Tower, and was then asked to explain the contents of pills in his room.
They were legal medications prescribed by his doctor after he broke his toe, and antidepressant tablets prescribed to a friend sharing the room.
Colwell alleges the medications were opened and removed from closed luggage without his consent before police arrived.
Last week Joel Madden was found in possession of five grams of marijuana, which was discovered by cleaners at The Darling hotel, who alerted in-house security. It is widely understood the drugs were concealed in a box inside his belongings. Madden was not charged.
Colwell tweeted about his experience at the Star for the first time this week after reading about Madden: ”That same hotel mr madden got busted with weed (lol) had 3 federal cops take me to my room and thought I had illegal drugs in my drawer. [sic]”
Fairfax Media contacted the Star, which denied the claims, saying: ”Our staff don’t go through the belongings of our guests.”
Colwell said an Astral Tower manager told him staff had called police because a cleaner claimed to have discovered ”remnants of marijuana” in his room. But the attending police officers did not raise this and he was not charged or warned.
”Cleaners should clean a room, not go through the drawers,” Colwell said. ”The fact that [staff searched through my possessions] is scary. I’m going to start putting locks on my bags in hotel rooms. I felt targeted by them.”
The NSW managing principal of Maurice Blackburn lawyers, Ben Slade, said hotels could not search guests’ belongings without consent, which could be contained in the fine print on a document you sign when checking in.
”I expect that if you were to book a room … online you will not get any warning of this policy … if this is the case, it is arguably a trespass for hotel staff [to] search a guest’s property.
”Anyone is entitled to report [an incident] to the police but that does not mean [they are] entitled [to] search the property or the offender. This is why police need permission or warrants.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.