Belgian Police Detain Irish Aircraft

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N714GZ
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Belgian Police Detain Irish Aircraft

Post by N714GZ » Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:14 pm

From Irish Independent Breaking News:

"Belgian police have seized up to ?10m worth of heroin as part of an international police investigation led by the Garda Drugs Unit.
A total of five people were arrested yesterday as a private jet from Ireland picked up almost 50 kilos of the drug at a Belgian airport.

The plane had earlier departed from Weston Aerodrome in Dublin.

The pilot and two passengers were detained by Belgian police, while another man was arrested in Holland and Gardai also picked up a 36-year-old man following raids on a number of houses in Dublin.

The operation was the result of an international investigation led by the Gardai which has been underway since earlier this year."

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Post by N714GZ » Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:23 pm

From RTE.ie

"Five people have been arrested in Dublin, Belgium and Holland, an Irish plane has been impounded in Belgium and up to 50kg of heroin has been seized as part of an Irish-led international investigation into drug smuggling.

The drugs are thought to be worth up to ?10 million.

The operation, which is being run by the Garda National Drugs Unit, has been going on for the past few months.

The plane, a private jet, flew out of Weston Aerodrome to pick up a man at a small airport in Belgium yesterday morning.

The pilot, an assistant and the passenger were arrested after the passenger tried to board the aircraft with the heroin packed in luggage cases.

Officers from the Garda National Drugs Unit believe the drugs were destined for two Dublin-based criminal gangs in the west and north of the county.

They searched at least five homes in Dublin, seized over ?40,000 in cash and arrested a 27-year-old man who is being questioned in Clondalkin.

Another man, who is originally from Scotland, has been arrested in Holland.

Garda? believe he was responsible for a number of substantial drug shipments to Ireland in the past few years.

Garda? are trying to establish the ownership of the private jet seized in Belgium which is believed to be based at Weston Airport."



Hopefully this indicates that the flight crew may have been unaware of the cargo.

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Post by 900EX » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:16 pm

Does anyone have info on the aircraft involved ?
Celer fuga....

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Post by Cosmic » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:41 pm

The news on the Radio said it was run by NFC on behalf of Jim Mansfield, who was also interviewed on air.

Seems a bit unfair to have arrested the pilot, whats he supposed to have done, searched the bags?
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Post by Vmax » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:18 pm

Five arrests in ?10m drug investigation

27 September 2006 16:10
Five people have been arrested in Dublin, Belgium and Holland and up to 50kg of heroin has been seized as part of an Irish-led drug traffiking investigation.

An Irish plane has been impounded in Belgium following the operation, which was carried out by the Garda National Drugs Unit and UK police.

The plane, a private jet, flew out of Weston airport in Co Kildare to pick up a man at Kortrijk-Wevelgem airport, in southern Belgium, yesterday morning.

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The pilot, the co-pilot and the 36-year-old passenger were arrested after the passenger tried to board the aircraft with the heroin packed in his luggage. The heroin is thought to be worth up to ?10 million.

Officers from the Garda National Drugs Unit believe the drugs were destined for two Dublin-based criminal gangs.

Garda? later searched at least five homes in Dublin, seized over ?40,000 in cash and arrested a 27-year-old man who is being questioned in Clondalkin.

A fifth man, who is originally from Scotland, has been arrested in Holland.

Garda? believe he was responsible for a number of substantial drug shipments to Ireland in the past few years.

Jet is owned by Mansfield

Businessman Jim Mansfield has confirmed that he owns the airplane which is being detained in Belgium.

A spokesman for Mr Mansfield said the flight was operated by the National Flight Centre, which is owned by Captain Kieran O'Connor and based at Weston Executive Airport.

Weston airport is owned by Mr Mansfield. It has no permanent customs presence and only 16 inbound flights from Europe were inspected last year.

A statement issued on Mr Mansfield's behalf said that the plane was being used by an aircraft operator whose own aircraft was unserviceable.

It is owned by Longborough Aviation, which is one of Mr Mansfield's companies.

The spokesman said Mr Mansfield was shocked by the development and the National Flight Centre is co-operating fully with the authorities.

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Post by OW wright » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:31 pm

no news yet on who the pilots are or where there come from or if they knew about what was going on. Independent TD Tony Gregory on the six one news calling for full time customs at weston.

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Post by C152 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:32 pm

It said on the news NFC had leased the aircraft without Mansfields knowledge :oops:

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Post by shamrock/heavy » Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:38 pm

From the news pictures it looks to be Jim's Citation 6 involved. No mention of crew yet, i know few of the guys that crew those citations and im sure they wouldn't want their names braodcasted across Ireland in relation to 50kg of heroin, don't think they would ever be involved with something like this. Just raises the point though about how much these operators know about the people they are carrying, apparently this :evil: gentleman :evil: has been under investigation for a while.Hope the innocent are cleared as soon as possible

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Post by EIDEL » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:53 pm

Hear Hear Shamrock/Heavy

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Post by pressman » Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:15 pm

I actually live in Wevelgem and the rumours flying around are that the FO was aware of what was happening .
Apparantly it was all very dramatic and the local police at the airport - only 2 of them - were not even aware of the sting . very much a miami vice style sting , as soon as they arrived in the car and took the cases all hell broke loose , plain clothes cops everywhere armed to the teeth , blindfolded the "mules" immediately into waiting cars and gone in 2 minutes .
It is an N registered plane and is still at the airport - so hopefully no local crews involved .

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Post by C152 » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:13 am

Wonder would Coke be interested in sponsoring Weston Aerodrome :wink:

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Post by Fishy Business » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:33 am

C152 wrote:Wonder would Coke be interested in sponsoring Weston Aerodrome :wink:


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Post by K Byrne » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:47 am

Was not aware the National Flight Centre were a AOC holder :?:

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Post by Cosmic » Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:44 am

You don't need an AOC to manage an aircraft which is owned by shareholders. You can't operate on demand charter flights for the general public. You couldn't have an AOC for an N-Reg jet anyway(If that was the case). Unless of course your just trying to stir the shit like fishy business?
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Post by OW wright » Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:04 pm

according to todays Indo (28/9/06) the pilots were from the NFC. no news of when or if they are been released. I should think that they were completely innocent and had no idea of what was going on, for their sakes and the reputation of the NFC i hope they had nothing to do with this incident.

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