“Think about it seems like one thing out of a film,” launched Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez, reinforcing what he had simply stated. In response to intelligence data obtained by his workplace, he is among the crew members of the Venezuelan-Iranian aircraft being held in Argentina He underwent surgical procedure in Cuba to “change his face”.
Abdo Benítez confirmed that “a big half” of the aircraft’s crew have been being held in Argentina – and that they’d landed in his nation final Could – It has hyperlinks to worldwide terrorism.
Throughout a tour of the South American Video games venues in Asunción subsequent October, the Paraguayan chief claimed that Paraguay’s struggle was in opposition to terrorism and never in opposition to “any nation,” amid uneasiness expressed by Iran at statements by Paraguayan officers.
The Emtrasur aircraft is stopped at Ezeiza airport. AP photograph.
“Paraguayan intelligence has executed an excellent job to find out the hazard of this flight and since Paraguay has reported and alerted, investigations may very well be made,” stated Abdo Benítez.
On this regard, he reiterated his nation’s “particular dedication” to preventing transnational crime and terrorism. “And we’ll proceed, it doesn’t matter what international locations they arrive from. This is not about any nation, it is about preventing worldwide crime and terrorism,” he stated.
He additionally identified that this case is forcing his nation’s aviation, customs and immigration authorities to draft “tighter” protocols.
“One even had facial surgical procedure to alter his face in Cuba”the President confirmed, though he prevented mentioning which of the crew members he was referring to. Nevertheless, he anticipated that “extra issues can be often called time goes on”.
The aircraft, owned by the Iranian firm Mahan Air, which is owned by Emtrasur, a subsidiary of the state-owned consortium of aviation trade and air providers (Conviasa), landed in Paraguay on Could 13 and left on Could 16 with a load of cigarettes certain for Paraguay Aruba.
In Paraguay, the difficulty triggered a violent scandal when it was found These cigarettes got here from the Tabacalera del Este SA (TABASA) firm, owned by former President Horacio Cartes.. On this context, Abdo Benítez assured that “it isn’t his fault” that the aircraft carries merchandise of the corporate of one in every of his political rivals.
In an oral assertion, Iran known as the allegations in opposition to the Iranian crew members “useless and unfounded” and felt they have been incompatible “with the historical past of pleasant relations” between Tehran and Asuncion.
The controversial aircraft has been within the nation since June 6 this yr, when it landed at Cordoba Airport. From there he went to Ezeiza, however he could not get out as a result of no firm needed to fill him up. That is as a result of the aircraft was owned by the Mahan Air Firm, which is linked to varied terrorist teams.
The US alleges that Iran has “repeatedly relied on Iranian industrial airways to move troopers and struggle materials to worldwide locations in help of Iranian state-funded terrorist operations.”
In the meantime, the crew of the aircraft is staying at a lodge within the city of Canning. They’re fourteen Venezuelan residents and 5 Iranian.