Canadian airlines urge Ottawa to return crew members detained in the Dominican Republic after reporting 200 kg of cocaine found on the plane

The airline also urges the federal government to issue “stronger” travel recommendations for the Dominican Republic.

A charter flight company with crew detained in the Dominican Republic is calling on the Government of Canada to issue travel recommendations to destinations in the Caribbean. This is the position of the Canadian Aviation Pilot Association (ALPA Canada).

Eric Edmonson, CEO of Pivot Airlines, intervenes in the federal government after five crew members and six passengers have been detained by Dominica authorities for warning that a cocaine hiding place was found on the plane on April 5. I am requesting that you do.

“What we want [the government] First and foremost is the return of crew members who have no evidence of being involved in this supposed crime. ” Said Edmonson in an interview with the Roy Green Show in Global News on May 8th.

Edmonson is also asking the government to issue “stronger” travel recommendations for Caribbean destinations.

“There are about 1 million Canadians traveling to the Dominican Republic. They need to be aware that our crew has not been given due process. There is no whistleblower protection. They should know, “he said.

“”[The crew] It wasn’t just about going out on the street and witnessing a crime. They were doing their job and reporting their work by all international standards. They reported what they thought was a crime by all international standards and were eventually detained arbitrarily. All Canadian travelers need to rethink their trip to the Dominican Republic. “

ALPA Canada repeated the same Notes Published in April, the association warned airline crew members and their members to take “special precautions” when entering and exiting Caribbean countries and to maintain “highest level of awareness.”

Pivot Airlines crew and passengers were scheduled to return from Punta Cana to Toronto on a charter plane on April 5.Before taking off, the mechanic who accompanied the flight Suspicious smuggled bag In the maintenance compartment of the aircraft.

“In accordance with the appropriate protocols, policies and laws, they immediately contacted the local government and RCMP,” said ALPA Canada. “With the contraband on board, the crew also contributed to aviation safety by preventing in-flight fires and electrical problems that could lead to catastrophic aviation accidents.”

Dominican authorities have imprisoned all 11 people on the plane at the time.

so April 6th press releaseThe Dominican Republic’s Drug Enforcement Agency (DNCD) has announced that it has found 200 packages of estimated cocaine hidden in “eight black packages” on a Bombardier CRJ-100 jet owned by Pivot Airlines.

“Each contains 25 packages, for a total of 200,” the release read.

According to the announcement, nine Canadians, one Indian citizen, and another from the Dominican Republic were “asked to determine their potential involvement.”Narcotics control agency Confirmed The next day, the weight of cocaine confiscated exceeded 200 kilograms. It’s worth about $ 25 million in street value.

upon April 14According to Edmonson, the crew, consisting of two pilots, two flight attendants, and a mechanic and six passengers, was released on bail after spending 10 days in a “horrible detention house.” Linkedin posts In late April.

Eleven were released at an undecided time with a payment of 1 million pesos.About $ 23,000— Release each and report to National Post after April 14th Condition They have to stay in the Dominican Republic until the problem is resolved.

Edmonson confirmed that Dominican prosecutors are currently challenging bail.

“Surprisingly, in the appeal document, if you appeal the judge’s decision to release on bail, you’ll think you’ll point out a legal error or evidence that they didn’t. It became clear since the decision, and the prosecutor couldn’t do that either, “he said at the Roy Green Show.

The CEO added that under Dominican law, one can be retained. No fees or guilt 12 months in the complex case under investigation. He is concerned that if the prosecutor succeeds in appealing, his crew will be returned to prison with the alleged drug offender.

“”[The crew members] It is now widely explained that the Dominicans have reported to the police about the drug. And, of course, if you were detained by drug smugglers and the crew was informed about those smugglers, that would be a very serious situation, “he said.

The Epoch Times asked the Dominican embassy in Ottawa for comment, but did not respond by the time it was published.

April 27, Aviation Division of the Canadian Civil Service Union (CUPE) Said He is “deeply concerned” about the plight of the crew.

“Our members followed the rules and did everything with books, but this is still a serious concern,” said Wesley Resoski, president of the airline.

CUPE includes Pivot Airlines, ALPA Canada, and UniforCanada’s largest private sector union, is calling on the federal government to “do everything in its power to bring our members and all flight crew back to Canada.”

“Pivot Airlines has taken all possible precautions, including hiring private security guards and relocating crew members on a regular basis, but it has become clear that additional political intervention is needed.” A letter to the Foreign Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary states. Maninder Sidhu..

“The ongoing threat and prosecution of Pivot Airlines’ crew raises serious concerns for all Canadian travelers and employees who travel to the Dominican Republic and work there.”

According to the website of the Dominican Embassy in Ottawa, Sidhu visited On April 21, the Dominican Republic, on behalf of Foreign Minister Melanie Jolly, “aimed to promote cooperation between the two countries.”

In an e-mail statement to the Epoch Times on May 9, Canada’s Ministry of International Relations stated that “government’s top priority has always been civil safety and security.”

“Global Affairs Canada is aware of an incident involving Pivot Airlines in the Dominican Republic. Canadian authorities continue to closely monitor the situation, work with local governments and provide consular support,” spokesman Jason Khun said. He said.

“Privacy is taken into consideration and no further information can be disclosed.”

Isaac Theo


Isaac Teo is a Toronto-based Epoch Times reporter.