Mississauga flight crew, passengers face jail as Dominican police investigate drug link

Published May 18, 2022 at 4:12 pm

An airline's flight attendants are 'vanishing' after landing at Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario

The crew and passengers of a Mississauga-based airlne could remain in jail for up to one year as officials in the Dominican Republic continue an investigation into the discovery of a large shipment of drugs found on the plane.

Although the 11 people involved have been released on bail, they are not allowed to leave the small Caribbean nation as state prosecutors look to put them back behind bars while they continue their probe which could take up to 12 months.

Representatives of Pivot Airlines say they have been pressing the Canadian government to help gain the release of the crew and passengers and union officials here they are concerned for their workers caught up in the affair and fear for their well being if they have to go back to jail.

“We’ve heard credible threats against their safety,” Tim Perry of the Air Line Pilots Association told the Canadian Press. “They’re being essentially held in a foreign country without proper evidence being presented. We’ve asked the government to intervene and return them home.”

The Canadian Union for Public Employees and Unifor have also been pushing for the release of the Canadians saying they have been arbitrarily detained and threatened even though they followed proper protocals when the drugs were discovered and how they notified authorities there.

Still, Dominican authorities say their handling of the situation must be respected and that their investigation should continue without interference.

“Someone loaded that plane with drugs, we are trying to find out who is behind it,” one policing official said.

The drama unfolded before the flight was scheduled to return to Pearson Airport in Mississauga from Punta Cana International Airport on April 5 when a crew member discovered the drugs hidden on the plane and alerted authorities.

A search of the plane by Dominican officials found over 400 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $18 million. The crew and passengers have been detained ever since as the investigation continues.

Global Affairs Canada said it is aware of the incident, monitoring the situation and dealing with policing authorities in the Dominican.


insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising