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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

More crew of grounded plane prevented from leaving Argentina

The Venezuelan crew of a cargo plane out of Buenos Aires since last week cannot leave Argentina, a judge ruled Tuesday after their hotel rooms were discovered in an investigation into possible Iran terrorist group links.

Police raided the rooms of 14 Venezuelan and five Iranian crew members a day after officials suspected links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, listed by the United States as a foreign “terrorist organization”.

The Iranian crew already had their passports temporarily confiscated, and Venezuela’s freedoms were curtailed after police seized cell phones, computers and documents in an early-morning raid on Tuesday.

They were on board a Venezuelan Boeing 747 cargo plane carrying car parts that had arrived from Mexico to land in Córdoba, Argentina, on Monday last week.

The plane then tried to travel to neighboring Uruguay, but was denied entry and returned to Eziza outside Buenos Aires where it has been grounded since last Wednesday.

The plane belongs to Emtrasure, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s Conviasa, which is subject to US sanctions.

A judge grounded the plane, noting that there is “reasonable suspicion that the reason for entering (Argentina) cannot be justified.”

Police did not comment on the reason for the hotel search, but on Monday Security Minister Anibal Fernandez said information from “foreign organisations” had been received that some crew members may be linked to companies linked to the Revolutionary Guards of Iran’s ideological army. can. ,

Fernandez said a smaller crew was actually reported on the flight log than the number of the aircraft, although none were on Interpol’s wanted list.

The crew list included “a relative of the Iranian interior minister”, Fernandez said, whose name “matches that of a member of the Revolutionary Guards.”

Also on Tuesday, Paraguay said two officers who authorized the plane’s landing in May had been fired, and that two anti-drug agents were under investigation.

Interior Minister Federico Gonzalez said the plane landed in Paraguay with 18 crew on a “commercial” entry permit – a number that raised doubts.

It spent nearly three days at Guarani International Airport, near the borders with Argentina and Brazil, before departing with a load of Paraguayan cigarettes for the Caribbean island of Aruba on 16 May.

After it left, “we received a communication that the aircraft has been approved by the United States Treasury Department and that seven crew members are members of Al Quds forces (of the Guards) and have been enlisted in the United States.” Terrorist,” the minister said.

Paraguay alerted the intelligence services of other countries in the region.

Iran said on Monday that Argentina’s move was part of a “propaganda” campaign against Tehran amid tensions with the West over talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

The grounding of the cargo plane came days before Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro flew to Tehran on Saturday to allow the allies, both subject to US sanctions, to sign a 20-year cooperation agreement.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the plane was sold by Iran’s Mahan Air last year to a Venezuelan company.

Mahan Air has been accused by the United States of ties with the Revolutionary Guards.

Interpol has issued arrest warrants for former Iranian leaders suspected of their involvement in the 1994 attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 and injured hundreds.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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