Lethem contractor conspired to enable landing of illegal aircraft – court hears

Hutashan Ramsingh

A Lethem contractor yesterday appeared in a Georgetown magistrate’s court charged with conspiracy to enable the landing of an illegal aircraft in the Rupununi.

Hutashan Ramsingh, also known as ‘Seon Singh,’ had surrendered himself to the police last week after a wanted bulletin was issued in connection with the discovery of an illegal aircraft and airstrip near Santa Fe, in Region Nine in August.

He appeared yesterday before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan who read him the conspiracy charge.

The charge alleged that on August 10, and August 13, at Mandacoro Island, Savannah, Lethem, the defendant conspired with persons and others unknown to facilitate, the illegal landing of an aircraft on an unauthorized port of entry.

Ramsingh was not required to enter a plea to the indictable charge.

Police prosecutor Arvin Moore objected to bail being granted.

The defendant’s attorney, Jerome Khan, however, made a bail application stating that his client is not a flight risk. The attorney further noted that his client was fearful for his life after he received certain information which caused him to approach Khan to represent him. Khan stated that after Ramsingh visited him he turned him into the police.

According to the attorney, his client denies being present during the construction of the airstrip or the landing of the aircraft.

Chief Magistrate McLennan later denied the attorney’s request and remanded the defendant to prison. The matter was later adjourned to March 5, 2018 and transferred to the Lethem Magistrate’s Court.

Singh was taken into custody on August 24. He was flown from Lethem to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Eve Leary, Georgetown for questioning but was released on $50,000 bail after being held for nearly a week without charge.

On September 15, the two men who Singh reportedly hired—Wasim King, 37, of 222 Kumaka Drive, Lethem and Nathan Hamilton, 21, of 107 Beverly Hills Drive, Lethem—were charged with allegedly helping to build the illegal airstrip in the North Rupununi, for the landing of an aircraft suspected to have been used to traffic drugs and guns.

They were accused of conspiring with Singh to facilitate the illegal landing of an aircraft, suspected to be involved in the trafficking of narcotics and firearms in an unauthorized port of entry between August 10 and August 13, in the North Rupununi.

Acting Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine had previously said that a total of six persons, including a woman and a Region Nine contractor were arrested as part of the investigation but the police were only advised to charge King and Hamilton. The others, including Singh, were released on bail.

Several pieces of heavy-duty equipment, including a front end loader belonging to the contractor, were also impounded.

On August 14, the Guyana Police Force had reported the seizure of the twin-engine Beechcraft, which had followed almost a month of reports of a foreign aircraft frequenting the Santa Fe, North Rupununi area.

The police had said that 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.

Sources had said that the plane, bearing registration number, PR-IMG was leased to Riwa S.A Incorporacoes, Investimen-tose Participacoes, a Brazilian company, by Banco Bradesco. Bradesco, is one of the biggest banking companies in Brazil.

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