Brazil releases Turkish pilot who flew private jet loaded with 1.3 tons of cocaine

A Brazilian court has ordered for the release of a Turkish pilot who was arrested in August for flying an Istanbul-based company's private jet on which 1.3 tons of cocaine were seized. The Brazilian authorities had at the time said that the pilot had previous knowledge about drug trafficking.

Duvar English

A Brazilian court has ruled for the release of a Turkish pilot 99 days after his arrest for flying a private jet on which 1.3 cocaine tons of cocaine were seized, daily Sözcü reported on Nov. 10.

The Turkish pilot V.D.'s Brazilian lawyer Nestor Santiago told the Turkish daily that the court had accepted the prosecutor's demand and gave authorities instructions to free the pilot. Santiago said that the relevant judiciary procedures were ongoing and they were waiting for the pilot to be freed within the next 24 hours.

On Aug. 4, the Brazilian police raided a private jet belonging to Istanbul-based ACM Holding in the city of Fortaleza, and found 24 suitcases carrying 1.3 tons of cocaine onboard. The jet, which was previously owned by the Turkish government under the name of TC-ATA, had four Turkish crew onboard and a Spanish passenger named Angel Alberto Gonzalez Valdes.

The Brazilian authorities later released three Turkish crew from custody ruled for the arrest of the chief pilot and the Spanish passenger, saying they had prior knowledge about the cocaine on board the jet.

At the time, the Brazilian authorities said that the chief pilot V.D. had attempted to flee the scene of the raid by starting the engines, but the police had stopped him from doing so by pulling out a gun.

Meanwhile, Valdes lost his life while under arrest in a hospital on Oct. 24, as he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The ACM Holding's jet is currently being used by the Brazilian police, daily Sözcü said. No decision has been yet issued with regards to the repatriation of the plane.

The Turkish-owned jet was bought during the term of Turkey's eight President Turgut Özal, and was also used during the terms of previous presidents Süleyman Demirel and Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

It also carried President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from Dalaman to Istanbul on the night of the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

It was later sold to Turkish Airlines, and finally to ACM Holding.