In ‘surprising transfer,’ Dominican prosecutors attraction bail determination for Canadians from cocaine-carrying airplane

Pivot Airlines mentioned it’s ‘deeply involved’ for its workers’ security and that the federal authorities should do extra

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Prosecutors within the Dominican Republic have appealed a call to free on bail the crew and passengers of a Canadian constitution airliner the place a 210-kilogram stash of cocaine was discovered, a authorized transfer the airplane’s proprietor calls “shocking.”

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Pivot Airlines mentioned in an announcement Friday it’s “deeply concerned” for its workers’ security and that the federal authorities should do extra to attempt to safe their protected return.

The 5 Pivot crew members and 6 passengers have been ordered launched from jail earlier this month on $23,000 bail and a requirement that they keep within the nation till the investigation of the drug discover is accomplished.

The airline has complained about that stipulation stopping the Canadians from leaving the Dominican Republic, noting that it was members of the crew who found the contraband secreted within the airplane’s “aviation bay” after which reported it to authorities.

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The decide who ordered them launched famous that prosecutors had introduced no proof tying the crew or passengers to the cocaine.

They had already spent a number of days in jail by the point they gained bail, a few of them in communal cells alongside accused drug traffickers. Even after being launched, they have been topic to credible loss of life threats, the airline mentioned.

“In a shocking move, the prosecutor has recently filed an appeal of the court’s decision to grant our crew bail, despite having no evidence tying them to a crime,” Pivot mentioned within the assertion.

It’s now well-known within the Dominican Republic that the crew stymied the tried smuggling of medication price as a lot as $25 million on the road in Canada, the corporate says. If they’re despatched again to jail alongside narcotics criminals, they are going to be in severe hazard, with out the safety of the personal safety they’d on the surface, mentioned Pivot.

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“It is entirely unacceptable that Canadian citizens could be arbitrarily detained for dutifully reporting criminal activity,” it mentioned. “Together with international unions representing the crew, we are cautioning Canadian travellers and more than 70,000 airline employees to seriously consider the risks of travel to the Dominican Republic.”

“If reporting a crime in the Dominican Republic could result in arbitrary detention, the government must seriously consider issuing a similar travel advisory.”

Pivot mentioned it was grateful for what assist the federal authorities has provided to date. It’s offering consular assist and Maninder Sidhu, parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, raised the problem on a pre-planned go to to the nation final week, based on Joly’s press secretary.

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But “the simple fact is” that Ottawa has not accomplished sufficient to get the Canadians again safely, mentioned the assertion.

“They miss their families. They fear for the lives, as well their mental and physical well-being. And they want to come home.”

The CRJ-100 regional jet landed within the Dominican Republic March 31, carrying potential traders being entertained by an Alberta firm, says Pivot. They have been supposed to go away April 5, however simply earlier than departing a mechanic travelling with the airplane found a black bag contained in the avionics bay, which holds digital gear.

Pivot alerted authorities in Canada and the Dominican Republic. Police there then found one other seven luggage, all filled with cocaine.

Prosecutors alleged on the bail listening to that the airplane and its passengers have been a “façade” designed to cover the flight’s true goal — smuggling medication into Canada.

But they mentioned they weren’t alleging any of the group positioned the cocaine within the airplane, solely that an unnamed extra individual accompanied the crew and boarded the plane the day earlier than it left.

Judge Francis Yojary Reyes Dilone mentioned the very fact the crew reported the contraband and that there was no proof linking them or the passengers to the cocaine meant he needed to impose much less extreme restrictions on the group than the prosecution had demanded.



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