As local investigations continue into the illegal aircraft found at the Yupukari Airstrip, Region Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo), residents have told investigators that the aircraft was seen circling the community days before it was found abandoned.
Based on reports from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the discovery was made following information received by a joint service patrol, including ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), on September 13. The following day, ranks from the GDF and GPF visited the area and conducted a search, during which the twin engine Cessna Aircraft was discovered.
Subsequently, a team of investigators from the GDF, GPF, the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) was deployed from Georgetown to conduct investigations.
A statement from the Ministry of Presidency disclosed that over the past three days investigators have been conducting assessment of the abandoned aircraft to gather evidence that will assist in uncovering the circumstances under which the aircraft came to be abandoned at that location.
In fact, a team of high level officials visited the area on Saturday led by Head of CANU, James Singh, and GCAA officials. The team ventured into the area to further assess the aircraft for damages and capabilities to make recommendations on what should be done with it. INews was told that a leak was discovered in the fuel tank. This, investigators believe, may have caused the aircraft to land in Guyana.
However, during interviews with nearby residents, investigators were told that the abandoned aircraft had been sighted circling the area on numerous occasions.
Moreover, the residents, a number of whom shared information they deemed ‘suspicious activity’, further reported the presence of motorcycles frequently at midnight in the area. To this end, CANU officials are seeking to determine whether the aircraft may have any links to the narcotics trade. Additionally during a search of the aircraft, several pieces of communication equipment were discovered and have been confiscated to be further examined for any potential leads.