Lethem businessman charged in connection with illegal aircraft

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A businessman of Tabtinga, Lethem, Region 09, was today charged in connection with the discovery of an abandoned aircraft at an illegal airstrip at Santa Fe approximately four months ago.

Hutashan Ramsingh, 44, also called Seon Singh appeared before Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court and was not required to plead to the indictable charge.

It is alleged that on August 10 and August 13, 2017, at Mandacoro Island Savannah (Santa Fe), Lethem, Ramsingh conspired with persons known and unknown to facilitate the illegal landing of an aircraft on an unauthorized port of entry.

His lawyer, Jerome Khan told the court that his client has no knowledge of the illegal aircraft or airstrip.

The defendant was taken into police custody on August 25 but was later released on $50,000 station bail. The man subsequently fled the jurisdiction and was caught and re-arrested last week.

The illegal aircraft is in the custody of the authorities.

Khan said his client was fearful for his life and therefore fled the country. The Chief Magistrate remanded Ramsingh on the basis that he is a flight risk and transferred the matter to the Lethem Magistrate’s Court for March 5, 2018.

There is a matter currently before the Lethem Magistrate’s Court relating to the same discovery.

On September 15, 2017, Wazim King, a 37-year-old driver and Nathan Hamilton, 21-year-old excavator operator both from Lethem were charged with conspiring with Ramsingh to build the illegal airstrip.

It was reported that on August 13, ranks of the Guyana Police Force visited the area in North Rupununi, Region Nine, after an aircraft was noticed circling above and made the discovery of a twin-engine Beechcraft at a 5,400-foot long, 45-foot wide illegal airstrip.

At the time of the discovery, three men were allegedly seen running from the aircraft. The police had stated that the airstrip itself was previously destroyed by the Guyana Defense Force.

On checking the aircraft, a quantity of dry ration, medical supplies, gents clothing and footwear, two hand-held radios, flashlights, cellular phones and an identification card amongst other items were found.

A search of the area surrounding the illegal airstrip had unearthed three abandoned camps in which canned food and other items were found.  Additionally, 16 10-gallon containers, which are suspected to have contained aviation fuel, were also discovered.

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