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Lethem businessman arrested in connection with illegal plane, airstrip

The Beechcraft Kingair aircraft that was found on an illegal airstrip in August, 2017.

A Lethem businessman has been arrested in connection with the discovery of an illegal aircraft and the construction of an illegal airstrip in Rupununi, southern Guyana four months ago, police and sources said.

“A prime suspect who allegedly fled the jurisdiction shortly after he was being sought for questioning in relation to an illegal aircraft which was left abandoned at Santa Fe, North Rupununi, Region 9 on August 13 last, is now in police custody, having been handed over in the presence of his Attorney,” the Guyana Police Force said in a statement.

A team of detectives, led by a senior officer, travelled to Lethem earlier this week to receive and take him to the Criminal Investigations Department’s headquarters in Georgetown as part of the probe.

 

In August, a Brazilian-registered Kingair Beechcraft was seized by Guyanese authorities. Wazim King, 37, of  222 Kumuku Drive, Lethem; and 21-year old Nathan Hamilton of Beverley Hill Drive, Lethem were charged with conspiracy to facilitate the illegal landing of the plane that is used for trafficking in guns and drugs, by constructing the airstrip between August 10 and 13, 2017. Their employer, at that time, had not been arrested.

Brazilian and Guyanese authorities have confirmed that the Beechcraft’s registration markings, PR-1MG, are authentic.

The man arrested is Shawn Huston Singh of Tabatinga Housing Scheme who has been named in a commission of inquiry into the discovery of an illegal aircraft at Yupukari, Rupununi, on September 14, 2016.

In relation to that plane discovery, the Commission alleged that he had been seen with his vehicle regularly at a particular place before the aircraft had arrived. The probe allegedly found that Singh had been also involved in illegal aircraft landings at Parabara, Manwar, Mountain Point and Mandakara Airstrip.

“Singh is said to be supplying the farmers of that area with food stuff and other items which they would need for their hoes. He also told them to keep the information to themselves, because the persons who are involved are well-armed and dangerous,” states the report by the Commission of Inquiry conducted by Guyana Defence Force Retired Brigadier, Edward Orin Collins.