Passengers on plane with suspected false registration still in custody

The persons who arrived Monday afternoon on an aircraft bearing a suspected false registration number remain in custody as investigations continue.

Crime Chief Paul Williams last evening said he was awaiting the return of his investigators who were sent to follow up the matter at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri.

Meanwhile, Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Colonel (Ret’d) Egbert Field told Stabroek News that efforts were being made by the authority to verify the authenticity of the documents presented for the aircraft.

 He noted that the GCAA has been in contact with the Venezuelan authorities as investigations continue.

Field said that though they are investigating the matter, their probe focuses mainly on the aircraft and that other components are considered to be a part of the security investigation that is being handled by the Guyana Police Force.

“We are just concentrating on the aircraft, we won’t be dealing with individuals outside our parameter which is the aircraft,” Field said.

 Notwithstanding, the Director General expressed hope that the GCAA would be able to complete their investigation by last evening or if not, sometime today. He reiterated however, that the Guyana Police Force would still have to complete their investigations.

On Wednesday, the police launched an inquiry into the landing of the private chartered aircraft.

 It was noted that several irregularities were discovered after the landing of the aircraft, which arrived at 3.20 pm. The Venezuelan pilots were taken into custody while four Venezuelan nationals, who had been passengers on the plane, and Guyanese Michael Brassington turned themselves in for questioning yesterday. The aircraft has also been detained.

Further enquiries revealed that the pilots and passengers were invited to Guyana by Brassington, who, according to the statement, was at the airport to receive them.

It was also noted that the “Handling Permission Form” listed Roraima Airways Inc. as the handling agent for the aircraft.

Police said additional enquiries revealed that the registration number on the aircraft was suspected to be false, since another aircraft reportedly has the same number, while the “Data Plate,” which contains vital information about the aircraft, was missing.

The police, in a subsequent statement, said Brassington and the four passengers went to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on their own accord at 11 am on Tuesday, while the pilots of the plane were also escorted to the CID by CANU ranks. They remained in custody up to last evening.

Based on the photos supplied by the police, Stabroek News observed that the tail of the aircraft bears the imprint of the Venezuelan flag. Additionally, a search of the registration number links the number to that of a Beechcraft 200C Super King aircraft belonging to the Venezuelan air force.

Meanwhile, Captain Gerry Gouveia, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Roraima Airways, in a statement posted on his Facebook page confirmed that his company was contracted to provide ground handling services to the aircraft, but maintained that all operational procedures were followed.

 “All required Documents were submitted to the GCAA for their Approval before the departure for Guyana; GCAA Approval was issued before the arrival of the Aircraft; the aircraft arrived and all passengers were processed by the immigration and customs,” the CEO shared, before offering the assurance that the company stands ready to assist the local authorities as required.

Around the Web