Last Updated on Friday, 6 October 2017, 18:21 by Denis Chabrol
The Brazilian-registered aircraft, which landed on an illegal airstrip in North Rupununi two months ago, is being claimed by a company in Brazil, but there has been very little development since, according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
“There was some communication between some persons from Brazil that claimed that the aircraft was actually stolen and we asked them to provide further information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that information has not been forthcoming,” he told a news conference when asked by Demerara Waves Online News.
Information so far acquired by Demerara Waves Online News shows that the purchase of the plane was financed by the Brazilian bank, Banco Bradesco. The plane, bearing authentic registration markings, PR-IMG, was sold by Riwa South America to Sinalizacao MT Ltda ME for US$850,000 cash on April 28, 2017.
Harmon said a probe into alleged collusion by police and the occupants of the Beechcraft Kingair has been completed and the report handed over to Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan. “The police investigation into that matter, I understand, is completed and the Minister of Public Security is in possession of the report and the recommendations,” Harmon said.
The plane landed on the illegal airstrip in mid-August and, according to police, three men exited and escaped. Since then, information has surfaced that police might colluded with the occupants to facilitate their departure in exchange for GYD$10 million.
The State Minister warned that anyone found culpable of conspiring to violate Guyana’s territorial integrity would be dealt with harshly. “If in fact there has been collusion, then certainly action will be taken. I want to give you this assurance that in cases which have to do with national security and national defence, once anyone is found to be in collusion with any foreign entities that seeks to affect the security of the State and the integrity of our borders, those are matters which will be dealt with very, very seriously,” he said.
Two Guyanese from the southern Guyanese town of Lethem have since been charged in connection with the construction of the illegal airstrip.
Police have said that Brazilian and Colombian passports and identification cards were among several items that had been found aboard the posh plane.