Sec­ond busi­ness­man held, equip­ment seized in mystery air­craft probe

Stabroek News Sunday - - NEWS -

A sec­ond busi­ness­man has been taken into cus­tody as part of the con­tin­u­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the dis­cov­ery of the il­le­gal airstrip and air­craft found ear­lier this month close to Santa Fe, in Re­gion Nine.

In ad­di­tion, heavy duty equip­ment be­long­ing to both per­sons in cus­tody has also been im­pounded.

Among the duo is a con­trac­tor from Re­gion Nine, who was ar­rested on Monday by ranks from the Lethem Po­lice Sta­tion. A front end loader be­long­ing to him was also im­pounded. It is sus­pected that the equip­ment may have been used in the con­struc­tion of the airstrip. The sec­ond per­son held is a busi­ness­man.

A se­cu­rity source yes­ter­day told Stabroek News that the two men were flown out from Lethem on Thurs­day and were taken to the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment (CID) at Eve Leary in Ge­orge­town, where they are be­ing ques­tioned by de­tec­tives. “One of them al­legedly con­tracted the other to pre­pare the airstrip with a grader to fa­cil­i­tate the land­ing of the air­craft,” the source re­vealed.

Po­lice have been granted per­mis­sion by the High Court to fur­ther de­tain the two men.

On Au­gust 14, the Guyana Po­lice Force re­ported the seizure of the twin-en­gine Beechcraft, which fol­lowed al­most a month of re­ports of a for­eign air­craft fre­quent­ing the Santa Fe, North Rupu­nuni area. The air­craft was flown out of the Rupu­nuni and landed at the Cheddi Jagan In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Timehri, where it was handed over to the se­cu­rity forces.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, a quan­tity of dry ra­tions, med­i­cal sup­plies, gents cloth­ing and footwear, two hand-held ra­dios, flash­lights, cel­lu­lar phones and an iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card were among the items found on the air­craft.

Stabroek News was told that the air­craft was in the process of be­ing sold. Sources had said that the plane, bear­ing reg­is­tra­tion num­ber, PR-IMG was linked to Riwa S.A In­cor­po­ra­coes, In­ves­ti­men­tos e Par­tic­i­pa­coes, a Brazil­ian com­pany on lease from Banco Brade­sco. Brade­sco, is one of the big­gest bank­ing com­pa­nies in Brazil.

The twin-en­gine Beechcraft that was found on the il­le­gal airstrip in the North Rupu­nuni on Au­gust 13.

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