Nicki Minaj under arrest in Amsterdam shortly before Manchester show

Nicki Minaj has been arrested in the Netherlands hours before she was due to fly to the UK to perform a concert.

The 41-year-old American singer, known for the songs Starships, Super Bass and Anaconda, was due to perform at Manchester’s Co-op Live Arena on Saturday evening as part of her Pink Friday World Tour.

A statement to the PA news agency from the National Police Corps said a woman, 41, was arrested after allegedly trying to take soft drugs from Schiphol Airport to another country.

The MET Gala 2024 – New York
Nicki Minaj has ben arrested (Matt Crossick/PA)

They confirmed at around 7.30pm that she remains under arrest and the force is still investigating.

Minaj’s show at Co-op Live was originally set to have doors open at 6.30pm but this was changed to 7pm.

In a series of social media posts on X, formerly Twitter, and Instagram, Minaj claimed that police said they found drugs in her luggage after items were checked by customs.

She wrote that “they found weed” and her security “already advised them” that items belong to them, and not her.

Minaj also claimed that her bags had been taken by “customs”, with someone who looked like he worked for Schiphol Airport saying that the fact she filmed security checks prompted her luggage to be searched again, in a video shared on Instagram.

She also alleged: “They’ve been trying to stop me from coming to every show. They took my bags before I could see them. Put it on the plane. Now saying they’re waiting on customs.”

Minaj also live-streamed what appeared to be a conversation with an officer, who asked her to get into a van so she could go to a police station.

“I’m not carrying drugs, I’m not going in there,” she says in the clip.

She then asks the officer if she is “under arrest” to which the the Dutch policeman replies “yes”.

Minaj is told by another policeman that she will get a “lawyer” and to stop filming, and then gets inside the van.

Co-op Live Arena – Manchester
The Co-op Live in Manchester. (Peter Byrne/PA)

Promoters Live Nation and the venue Co-op Live have been contacted for comment.

Co-op Live was plagued by issues before opening earlier this month.

The venue postponed its first official show several times after safety concerns with the performer, US rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, moving his gig to rival AO Arena over the delays.

However, the UK’s biggest arena had live music on May 14, when British rock band Elbow took to the stage.