Contraband case: Martinair Cargo staff released from custody

By Rachelle Harry

Martinair Cargo has announced that pilots and ground crew have been released from custody in Argentina following a drugs bust involving one of the airline’s freighters.

The staff were arrested on January 14 after 82 kg of cocaine was seized from a B747 freighter aircraft, operated by Martinair Cargo, at Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport.

In a statement released yesterday (January 27), Martinair Cargo explained: “KLM and Martinair Cargo are sincerely delighted to confirm that the three pilots and three ground staff involved in the investigation in Argentina will be released today.

“In connection with the welfare and privacy of all employees involved, we will not make any substantive statements as long as the investigation is ongoing.

“The cargo aircraft in use by Martinair Cargo and investigated by the Argentinian authorities has not yet been released.”

Argentinian publication Clarín reported that at the time of the bust seven people were arrested.

Clarín said the flight was carrying polo horses when the bust was made, but there was found to be no link between the horses and the contraband.

The aircraft had reportedly traveled from São Paulo, Brazil, and was in transit at Ezeiza when customs officers found the drugs with help from their sniffer dogs.

The aircraft had been due to stop at Ecuador before flying to the Dutch capital, its final destination.

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