Foreign nationals found on illegal aircraft in Guyana charged

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Two of the three foreign nationals who were found aboard one of two illegal aircraft which were discovered at Issano, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) have been charged for illegal entry into Guyana.

Juan Ivan Fortool and Manoel Edson Pinheiro Costa appeared at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Crystal Lambert where they were charged under the Immigration Act, having arrived in Guyana by air and not a port of entry.

They both pleaded not guilty and were remanded to prison until September 30, 2020.

On September 13, the aircraft on which the foreign nationals were found was discovered at the 9 Miles Airstrip in Region Seven.

The plane, a red and white Cessna, is suspected to be Brazilian.

The men were travelling with another plane, a Beechcraft which was discovered in the vicinity the following day. On that plane, the body of a dead man along with 390kg of cocaine were found.

The three foreign nationals had told police that they were travelling to Suriname when the Beechcraft developed mechanical problems, causing them to crash-land.

The third individual was injured during the crash-landing and had to undergo surgery. He remains hospitalised.

Editor’s Note: This story previously stated that “It is unclear why the third foreign national has not been charged. The Guyana Police Force has not immediately responded to a question in this regard.” The Force has since responded and this article has been accordingly updated.