Brazilians, Colombians connected to illegal aircraft & airstrip
By Devina Samaroo
The illegal aircraft and airstrip discovered in the Upper Takutu region may be linked to activities involving Brazilians and Colombians.
Acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine today disclosed that two passports discovered in the aircraft belong to a Brazilian and a Colombian and are suspected to be the property of the two persons who were seen fleeing the area after the plane landed on the unauthorized airstrip in Region Nine earlier last month.
“Their IDs were also found there and it corresponded with what is in the passport,” he said.
Ramnarine further noted that investigators are finalizing a report on the probe for submission to the relevant authorities.
“They have spent some time, a better part of a week and a half in the area, some persons were interviewed and a number of leads were pursued, and at this point in time based on the advice given to me just yesterday that in a matter of days, they are wrapping up that report which will be sent to the relevant authorities, including legal adviser if possible,” the Top Cop explained.
A contractor from Region Nine was taken into custody and his equipment seized during the investigation. It was suspected that the contractor assisted in the reconstruction of the illegal airstrip which was destroyed by the Guyana Defence Force a few years ago.
Head of the Civil Aviation Authority, Egbert Field had told News Room that there is suspected collusion between the residents and those involved in the illegal activities. Reports are 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.
This discovery comes on the heels of the unearthing of another unauthorized airstrip a few miles from Santa Fe.
Commander in Chief of the Armed Force President David Granger has since underscored the need for stricter border control, noting that failure to do so could lead to the intrusion of criminal syndicates that have the power and the wealth to corrupt public officials.