NEWS
03/02/2019 23:05 GMT | Updated 04/02/2019 08:17 GMT

An American Rapper Has Been Arrested On Suspicion Of Being British

"His whole public persona is false."

An American rapper has been arrested by immigration officials in the United States on suspicion of being British. 

21 Savage - whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph - was detained in Atlanta on Sunday morning, according to reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and TMZ.

The rapper was taken into custody in a “targeted operation” and has been placed in “removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts,” immigration official Brian Cox told the AJC.

The arrest was met with baffled reactions online, as the rapper has long been associated with Atlanta and performed with local rappers T.I., Migos, Lil Yachty and Ludacris at an A-town-heavy concert in the city on Thursday during the run-up to today’s Super Bowl.

However, Cox told the AJC that Savage, 26, is an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who legally entered the US in July 2005 on a visa that expired a year later, Reuters reports.

He added: “His whole public persona is false. He actually came to the US from the UK as a teen and overstayed his visa.”

Allison Joyce / Reuters

Savage was convicted of felony drug charges in 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia.

21 Savage released his debut, “The Slaughter Tape” mixtape, in 2015 and signed with Epic Records.

His most recent album, “I Am > I Was,” debuted at Nunber 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

The rapper’s attorney, Dina LaPolt, told Variety: “We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding.

“Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country ― especially in Atlanta, Georgia and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”

Reps for Savage did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment.