Venezuelan plane held at Ogle airport in laundering probe

A second Venezuelan plane has been detained by SOCU amid an investigation of money laundering, head of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), Sydney James says.

Stabroek News was reliably informed that the Unit detained a Beechcraft BE 58 plane at the Eugene F. Correia international Airport at Ogle yesterday, bearing registration number YV-2377. The plane had reportedly arrived from Puerto Ordaz in Venezuela.

When contacted yesterday, James confirmed that the plane was seized and said, “SOCU has detained an aircraft as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation.” He also added that that is all the information that can be released at this point in time.

Roraima Airways is the ground handling agent for the aircraft. Roraima Airways head, Gerry Gouveia, was also contacted yesterday and confirmed that the plane was detained by SOCU.

He noted that the plane arrived on Wednesday and was scheduled to leave yesterday [Thursday] and the incident is being investigated. Gouveia was also unable to provide any additional information on the matter.

The detention of the plane comes just weeks after passengers and crew of another Venezuelan aircraft which was detained at the CJIA Airport, Timehri were released and cleared of any wrongdoing.

On Monday July 10th, a five-member delegation of four Venezuelan businessmen and Guyanese pilot, Michael Brassington, landed at the CJIA on the chartered aircraft along with the pilot and co-pilot.

According to sources, Brassington brought the men to discuss investments in the oil and gas sector here and had scheduled meetings before arriving.

The following day the pilots were arrested by police and the passengers later the same day turned themselves in to law enforcement authorities.

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