CJIA conducts security assessment following theft from private jet

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The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) has conducted an assessment of its security after a man succeeded in breaking into a private jet and escaped with a quantity of valuables.

The incident occurred in late October and according to the police, the suspect had dug a hole under the perimeter fence of the airport and made his way onto the tarmac where he broke into the aircraft.

According to a statement issued by the airport on Monday, it conducted an assessment of its security following the theft and the final report was been handed over to the Public Works Minister Juan Edghill on November 21.

The statement quotes the Minister as saying that the report presents a “holistic view and evaluation of the airport’s security operations with the sole intention of improving these systems”.

The statement further noted that the report will be presented to Cabinet for review and immediate action.

Contacted for more information on the report, Edghill declined to divulge.

Albert Rajram, 43, of Circuit Road, Timehri, East Bank Demerara has since been charged with the crime. Having pleaded guilty to two counts of simple larceny, the man was sentenced to 36 months imprisonment for each charge. The sentences will run concurrently.

The private jet in question, McDonnell Douglas MD-87 bearing registration Number N111RE, landed at the CJIA on October 26 with a group of businessmen. It was parked close to the hangar of the Guyana Defence Force Air Corps. Reports are that when the pilots returned to the aircraft two days later to prepare their flight for takeoff, they discovered that the main door to the plane had been breached.

An investigation was subsequently launched which led to the arrest of Rajram, who, during interrogation, confessed to the crime.

Some of the stolen items, which included alcoholic beverages and electronic devices, were recovered. It was reported that upon his arrest, he was taken to his home, where the stolen items were found.

Reports indicate that this is not the first time an incident of this nature occurred at the CJIA. According to reports, following two prior incidents of theft, the CJIA was required to implement tighter security measures – something which was seemingly not done.

“We didn’t have to wait for the theft from this jet to beef up security. This matter was addressed since June and had all the stakeholders involved done all what was supposed to be done we would not have that situation,” Edghill had told Stabroek News earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the security assessment report was prepared by the Airport Security Taskforce, which includes representatives from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Customs, Immigration, Guyana Police Force, Customs Anti- Narcotics Unit, Guyana Defence Force and Guyana Fire Service.