Private jet involved in Brazil cocaine bust belongs to Erdoğan ally businessman - report

The co-pilot of a private jet from which over 1,300 kilograms of cocaine was seized in Brazil said that the owner of the aircraft is a Turkish businessman with close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Birgün newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Last month, Brazilian police discovered cocaine on board a Gulfstream IV private jet (registration TC-GVA) belonging to the Turkish company ACM Holding.

The aircraft was departing from Fortaleza in northeastern Brazil to Brussels Airport.

Brazilian newspaper Globo reported that the Turkish pilot of the plane was also aware of the drug transport and arrested.

ACM Holding released a written statement with regards to the cocaine bust, saying its plane had been rented by a passenger with a Spanish passport.

“The relevant customer and his personal items have no connection whatsoever to our company or flight crew,” the company said.

Birgün cited the co-pilot of the Turkish aircraft as saying that “the same company also helped the Barzani family in drug trafficking and they dodged a drug bust at the last minute.’’

“An illegal license was issued to pilot Vedat Demir by the company which is owned by Ethem Sancak”, Birgün cited the co-pilot as saying. “It is also impossible for a pilot not to know the material carried on the plane” 

Sancak is a senior member of President Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and has also served on central executive board of the party.

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