Seven questions and answers about the plane and its Venezuelan and Iranian crew detained eight days ago


A Boeing 747 cargo plane and its crew of 19 people of Venezuelan and Iranian nationality are being held in Argentina, subject to a judicial investigation. When eight days have passed since arrival, the questions that already have an answer:

When did you arrive in the country?

He landed on June 6 at the Córdoba airport, because in Buenos Aires the fog impeded visibility. On June 8, she tried to travel to Uruguay, but that country denied her entry. “The plane was over the Río de la Plata” when he was ordered to return, Uruguayan Defense Minister Javier García said.Since then, the plane has been parked at the Ezeiza international airport..

Where is the plane from?

It belongs to the Emtrasur company, a subsidiary of the Venezuelan Conviasa, subject to sanctions by the United States Department of the Treasury. It was bought a year ago from the Iranian airline Mahan Air, according to a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

What was the itinerary?

The plane arrived in Argentina from Mexico, with a batch of auto parts. In May he had traveled to Ciudad del Este (Paraguay, on the triple border with Argentina and Brazil), from where he took a shipment of cigarettes to the Caribbean island of Aruba. The Paraguayan Minister of the Interior, Federico González, reported on Tuesday that two officials who authorized the landing were dismissed. González said that after the departure of the aircraft from Paraguay he received the communication that it was a device subject to United States sanctions and that seven of the crew belonged to Al Qudsan elite group of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard classified as a terrorist organization by the United States. “Other intelligence services in the region have already been alerted. consequence of that is that Argentina and other countries took measures,” González said.Al Quds does not appear on the list of terrorist organizations drawn up by Argentina, although one of its members does appear individually.

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How did the judicial investigation begin?

The Directorate of Migrations of Argentina withheld the passports of the Boeing 747 crew after Uruguay He was denied entry to his territory. On June 11, a lawyer filed a habeas corpus to obtain the return of the documents. On June 12, the federal judge of Lomas de Zamora, Federico Villena, rejected the appeal and opened a judicial investigation. The judge requested on Monday, June 13, extend for 72 hours plus the seizure of passports of the five Iranian crew. This Tuesday, a ban on leaving the country was added to the 14 Venezuelan crew members. The group is staying in a hotel near the Ezeiza airport. The case, in which the Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA) is part of the lawsuit, is under summary secrecy. Argentina considers the presence of Iranian travelers to be sensitive , due to alerts arrest warrants issued by Interpol that apply to former rulers of that country, accused of the attack against the center of the Argentine Jewish community in 1994, which left 85 dead and some 300 wounded.

What was suspicious?

For the Minister of the Interior of Paraguay, It had been “striking” that the plane traveled with a crew of 18 people. According to specialized sites, a cargo like the Boeing 747 needs a crew of between three and four people. The Minister of Security, Aníbal Fernández, pointed out that although none of the crew members who arrived in Argentina -and that they are not necessarily the same as the they went to Paraguay- has a red circular from Interpol, among them there is a name, that of Gholamreza Ghasemi, who drew attention.“He is a relative of the Iranian Interior Minister and his name coincides with that of a member of the Revolutionary Guard and administrator of a company linked to Al Quds,” Fernández said. “If they ask me if it is him, I don’t know. The name matches. The rest is an analysis that we will do in conjunction with Immigration and surely the Airport Security Police will do the same, ”he added.

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Where is the plane stored and what is the cost accruing from being stranded?

as far as he could tell THE NATIONthe aircraft was transferred to the header 05, a place where aircraft that have no upcoming operations to carry out are detained. For being there, whoever corresponds must pay a daily fee.Based on the time spent at the air terminal, the total is paid at the time the plane is finally ready to fly. This payment can be made by agent of handling, which is ground handling personnel. If not, the same pilot when they are about to retire. And the only way for an exemption in payment to occur is if there is an intervention of the Chancellerysomething that does not happen in this case. According to what he found out THE NATION, until yesterday the plane owed approximately a little more than 27,700 dollars for stay and for each more day that he is detained in Ezeiza, they will be added 4000 additional dollars to the number. As of today, then, the full fee would exceed $34,000.

How have other countries reacted?

Iran said Monday that the allegations are part of a propaganda campaign, “with psychological operations and a war of words to provoke a feeling of insecurity” in that country. Venezuela, whose president Nicolás Maduro visited Tehran over the weekend, has not made any official statement on the case. In Mexico, an official from the Querétaro government confirmed to AFP that the plane took off from its airport on June 5 and assured that international protocols were complied with. The route that was communicated to them was Caracas-Querétaro-Caracas-Buenos Aires-Caracas.With information from the AFP agency