Possible collusion between residents and illegal aircraft owners
By Bibi Khatoon
An illegal aircraft, which was discovered in an area at Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, Region 9 has been brought to Georgetown and security forces have begun the next phase of their investigation.
The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) believes that there was some amount of collusion between persons who were seen running from the aircraft after it landed, and residents of surrounding communities.
In an interview with News Room on Thursday, Director General of the Authority, Egbert Field disclosed that while persons from the area were questioned, his team was unable to garner much. He said they were only told that illegal aircraft are frequently seen flying over the areas.
“I cannot see how five men running from an aircraft, in the Savannah—I know there are bushes in certain sections but I’ve flown the interior for over 30 odd years and for five men to disappear—there must have been collusion with people on the ground,” he said.
He also added that, “the airstrip which was dug up a couple years ago by the GDF, that is now an airstrip that can be used which means that equipment had to be taken in, to really bring that aircraft, or put that airstrip back into operation.”
It was found that the twin engine Beechcraft Kingair aircraft was registered to a Brazilian Bank. However, Field explained that the aircraft was purchased through the bank for a company named Riwa SA Incorporated Investments and Participants.
Further investigations through the Brazil Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration, found that the aircraft was being transferred to yet another company which has not yet been located.
A GPS was among items found on the plane and the memory of that equipment will help the authorities to move faster in their investigations, since it may have stored areas the aircraft visited before, the Director General said.
The Civil Aviation Authority is concerned with illegal aircraft in its local airspace since it can cause mid-air collisions. The aircraft was discovered after ranks travelled to the area to investigate an illegal airstrip.