Cops arrest suspect who helped mystery plane passengers

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

Four persons, including two who allegedly helped the men who were seen fleeing from the aircraft that was found abandoned near Santa Fe, in Region Nine, are now in custody.

Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum confirmed the fourth arrest yesterday.

Stabroek News understands that two of those in custody allegedly helped the men who were seen fleeing move from one location to another following the discovery.

It is also being alleged that the businessman who was previously detained and is now wanted for further questioning allegedly paid to construct the illegal airstrip that was used by the aircraft. He has since gone into hiding.

On Saturday, Blanhum had said that one of the suspects had 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 last Monday said that 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. It is suspected that these documents belongs to the persons who fled the scene.

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