Documents for ‘suspect’ aircraft authenticated

-crew, passengers remain in custody

The aircraft (Guyana Police Force photo)

The documents presented for the private aircraft that landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Monday, with suspected false registration numbers, have been verified and proven to be authentic.

A source told Stabroek News that the verification was done by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) with assistance from the Venezuelan Civil Aviation Authority.

Additionally, while police in a press statement issued on Tuesday said the data plate, which contains vital information, was missing, this newspaper was told that the device was on the plane, just not in its usual location.

Meanwhile, Crime Chief Paul Williams, who is said to be spearheading the security aspect of the investigation, said that six persons, all of whom were identified as Venezuelan nationals, remain in custody as investigations continue. The six comprise the two pilots and the four passengers who landed.

On Tuesday, the police said an investigation was launched after several irregularities were discovered upon the landing of the aircraft, which arrived at 3.20 pm on Monday.

It was also noted that 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 on Tuesday. The aircraft has also been detained.

A police statement had said that the pilots and passengers were invited to Guyana by Brassington, who was at the airport to receive them.

Additionally, the “Handling Permission Form” had listed Roraima Airways Inc. as the handling agent for the aircraft.

Following the police statement, 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,” he wrote.

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