Illegal aircraft: Colombian, Venezuelan nationals arraigned

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The two foreign nationals who illegally landed an aircraft in Mahdia, Region Eight, earlier this month were charged and arraigned on Friday.

Following weeks of investigations, charges were laid against Juan David Caicedo Villa, a 32-year-old pilot of Villavicencio, Colombia and Gustavo Adolfo Riascos Gomez, a 48-year-old pilot/businessman of Tachira San Cristobal, Venezuela.

As a result, they both appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court 1 before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan where the charges were read to them and they pleaded guilty.

Hence, they were sentenced/ fined according to the amounts and years against the charges.

1) Operating an aircraft without Insurance – Fined one million each or 3 years imprisonment.

2) Interfering with an aircraft – Fined Three million each or 2 years imprisonment.

3) Operating a civil aircraft without an airworthiness certificate – Sentenced 2 years imprisonment.

4) Operating an aircraft in a negligent manner – Fined three million dollars each or 2 years imprisonment.

The Magistrate ordered that the sentences will run concurrently.

Police had reported that on November 4, ranks had observed a six-seater twin-engine Piper Seneca plane circling the Mahdia airstrip area before landing sometime after.

A party of policemen were dispatched to the area. There, the plane was in front of the Trans Guyana’s hanger and the foreigners were standing in front of the aircraft talking to the security and ramp attendant.

When confronted by the police, one of the men, spoke in English, said: “We are lost, we came from Venezuela and going to look for gold”.

Moreover, Police said a search of the men and the plane found nothing illegal.

The aircraft contained three 15 gallon drums – two of which contained fuel – containing suspected fuel, one hammock with net, one bag containing clothing and personal effects while a black bag with identification cards documents, one Garmin GPS, one Iridium Phone, one Icom radio set, one spot trace device, two phone charger, one ear piece, one lighter, one torch light, one Motorola phone, one Samsung phone, one knife, two wrist watches, one wallet, and bamboo wrap.

The items have been lodged and the aircraft is currently under guard while both men were arrested and placed into custody pending investigations.