Three held, businessman wanted over mystery plane

-Crime Chief says suspect admitted to helping build illegal airstrip

The twin-engine Beechcraft that was found on the illegal airstrip in the North Rupununi on August 13.

Three persons, including one who has admitted his involvement with the illegal airstrip and abandoned aircraft discovered near Santa Fe, in Region Nine last month, have been taken into police custody.

The arrests were confirmed by Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum, who told Stabroek News that the police were up to late yesterday afternoon  also pursuing one of the two businessmen who was previously detained in connection with the discovery. The businessman is said to be wanted for further questioning.

Blanhum said that ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department contacted one of the three suspects in Lethem and during questioning the man admitted his involvement in the construction and preparation of the illegal airstrip, which facilitated the landing of the aircraft.

A Region Nine contractor had been arrested on August 21, while the other businessman was taken into custody on August 24. Several pieces of heavy-duty equipment, including a front end loader belonging to the contractor, were also impounded. It is suspected that the equipment may have been used in the construction of the airstrip.

After being flown to  Georgetown for questioning, they were subsequently released.

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

According to the police, a quantity of dry rations, medical supplies, men’s clothing and footwear, two hand-held radios, flashlights, cellular phones and an identification card were among the items found on the aircraft.

Sources had told this newspaper that the plane, bearing registration PR-IMG, was linked to Riwa S.A Incorporacoes, Investimentos e Participacoes, a Brazilian company which had  leased it from Banco Bradesco, one of Brazil’s  largest banking companies.

Acting Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine said last week that the police were wrapping up a report in relation to the discovery. He said it was suspected that two foreign nationals, a Colombian and a Brazilian, were connected to the find based on the discovery of two passports and corresponding ID cards on the aircraft.

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