The aircraft seized by authorities on Sunday in the North Rupununi, Region Nine on an illegal airstrip was yesterday afternoon flown out of the area by Guyana Defence Force (GDF) pilots as investigations continue.
The twin-engine Beechcraft bearing registration number PR-IMG was flown to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri and is now in the hands of the GDF.
On Wednesday, Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Lt Col (Ret’d) Egbert Field had told Stabroek News that once brought out of the area the aircraft would be handed over to the security forces since it is a security matter. “It is an illegal operation for the aircraft in that it did not report coming into our airspace, landing on an illegal airstrip that we the authorities who are the persons would register the airstrip don’t even know about the airstrip. It isn’t in our registry,” he said.
Reports reaching this newspaper indicated that the plane was linked to Riwa S.A Incorporacoes e Participacoes, a Brazilian company, on lease from Banco Bradesco. Bradesco is one of the biggest banking and financial companies in Brazil.
It was later revealed by Field that Riwa was in the process of selling the aircraft to another Brazilian company, Sinalizacao MT Ltda ME. To date, neither of the companies has reported the aircraft as being stolen.
On Monday, 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. It was also reported that three men were seen fleeing the aircraft on Sunday. However, there has still been no word from the security forces, the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force on whether any one has been detained, despite the fact that the foreign plane landed in Guyana without clearance from the relevant authorities, posing a major security issue for the country.
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.