Pilot found, charged

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By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
THE Australian pilot of the mystery aircraft which crash-landed on a strip of land outside Port Moresby on Sunday has been found and charged with illegal entry, an official says.
Acting Chief Migration Officer Robert Kennedy told The National yesterday that the pilot, David John Cutmore, had been charged with illegal entry under Section 16 (1) (a) of the Migration Act.
“Police are now conducting a separate investigation on him which may involve illegal activities,” Kennedy said.
He added that Cutmore did not have a passport.
Villagers near Papa-Lealea, the plant site of the PNG LNG project about 30 km west of Port Moresby, alerted authorities after finding the partly damaged and burning aircraft at the end of a cleared strip of land on Sunday afternoon. The pilot and cargo were missing.
The villagers had earlier noticed the aircraft circling the area before it disappeared.
Prime Minister James Marape on Tuesday asked the Australia Federal Police to assist their local counterparts in finding out who the pilot was, what cargo the aircraft was carrying and who owned it.
Marape also revealed that Police Commissioner David Manning, based on preliminary investigations, believed that drug trafficking was involved.
Police were notified on Tuesday that the Cutmore had turned himself in at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.
It is understood that AFP officers are interrogating Cutmore at a location in Port Moresby.

The wreckage of the Cessna 402C twin-engine aircraft near Papa-Lealea in Central. The pilot David John Cutmore has been charged with illegal entry by the PNG Immigration and Customs Authority. – Nationalpics by KENNEDY BANI

A statement from the Australian High Commission said: “The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance, in accordance with the Consular Services Charter, to an Australian man in Papua New Guinea. Owing to our privacy obligations, we will not provide further comment.” Deputy Police Commissioner Operations Donald Yamasombi said any update on the incident would be released when investigations were completed.
“Conspiracies and myths serve no purpose for anyone at this stage. Therefore, in the interest of justice I will not release anything now until all our enquiries are completed and we are happy.”
The Australian Government Civil Aviation Safety Authority website showed that the Cessna 402C twin-engine aircraft was registered to a PNG company called Ravenpol No 69 Limited. Its address is Gerehu.
The aircraft has been operating out of Australia by a company called Avlease Pty Ltd based in the Northern Territory.

13 comments

  • Possibility of Drug trafficking. Cocaine was once found on a Police person in Bomana. This AC may have brought in illegal drugs like that.
    Commissioner should advise his officers to use the trained k9 dogs to screen the pilot as he should have some trace of drugs on him.

  • He should have been locked up for 14 days because of covid19 plus for illegal entry.
    Not taken and surrender to ausie consulate

  • Tip of an iceberg, ,it’s drugs going out. There’s no market for cocaine here,, there’s possibility of other drugs such as meth ice etc. produced here and exported out of PNG

  • It’s supposedly a syndicate behind this. Why all of a sudden the pilot knows his way in the middle of nowhere,after the crash. Definitely there was a waiting party, assuming his mysterious disappearance from the crash site. Where was he found and charged as stated and with the current pandemic,why was he not quarantined? The relevant authorities must provide a full report from the aviation to law and order perspectives respectively.

  • probably cannabis. There is a lucrative market for the weed in some countries where it is legalised. We hear PNG has some of the best cannabis in the world.

  • The pilot has given himself up because he wants to be protected by the Australian high commission. Hopefully they don’t give him a good treatment but at least use some form of force to make him speak the truth.

  • Locked up abroad on geography is one story that this pilot will tell.
    But why allow him bail $3000 when he is in the trafficking business and that the evidence is found? PNG Nationals and some ill-fated officials in high offices may be involved.
    Investigate him thoroughly.

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