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Mystery aircraft parked in Cyprus draws attention

Plane that ‘never landed in Cyprus’ awaiting inspection by UN on mission to hunt Libya embargo violators


UN experts are coming to Cyprus to inspect a possibly-modified plane believed to have been used in carrying forbidden cargo to Libya, but Cypriot air traffic control say they have no records of the aircraft landing on the island.

(Click here for an update to the story)

According to Philenews, experts from the United Nations are scheduled to arrive in the Republic of Cyprus in November to open a sealed hangar at Paphos International Airport and inspect a mystery aircraft thought to be a T-Bird.

Despite having filed a flight plan to Libya, Annan ordered parts to be removed and the plane ended up flying to Larnaca on or around 22 July 2019

The plane, which was registered with Serbian authorities as a non-commercial aircraft, traveled to Jordan in June 2019. Despite having filed a flight plan to Libya, reports said Annan ordered parts to be removed and the plane ended up flying to Larnaca on or around July 22.

According to UN investigators, cited in foreign media, Cypriot air traffic control “have no records of the aircraft landing there” but Philenews reported on Tuesday that about a month ago Cypriot police were notified about a plane having flown from LCA to PFO at that time to remain in a private hangar.

According to unverified investigative reports earlier this year, a T-Bird was registered in Serbia and operated by Gas Aviation, which had been contacted by an “English pilot” who asked the company to service the aircraft in Cyprus.

UN investigators were also reported to have traced the plane to an alleged $80 million scheme by US security contractor Erik Prince to supply weapons to a Libyan militia commander in violation of a decade-long arms embargo.

Blackwater founder implicated in story

Prince, the founder of the mercenary firm once named Blackwater, had allegedly met in Seychelles with a Putin ally in an attempt to establish back-channel communications between the Russian President and his then-US counterpart Donald Trump.

UN experts are reportedly eager to access sign-up sheets at the hangar in Paphos to learn who may have come in contact with the plane at any time. Knews understands the hangar is privately-owned but no further information was publicly available.

A file on the aircraft in question is currently being held by Civil Aviation authorities in Cyprus, while the foreign ministry is said to be in talks with UN officials on the matter.

Cyprus  |  Paphos  |  Larnaca  |  Libya  |  Blackwater  |  United Nations  |  Erik Prince

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