Officials say they intercepted 200 bundles of suspected cocaine at a Dominican airport earlier this month, and the crew of an Ontario plane has been imprisoned since early April and is being interrogated.
Five crew members spotted and reported contraband found on the plane heading for Toronto when grounded at the Punta Cana airport on April 5, according to a statement released to CTV News Toronto by Pivot Airlines, an airline that began out of Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2021.
The Dominican Republic’s National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD) said that eight packages, each containing 25 smaller packages of cocaine, totalling 200 packages, were located in the aircraft’s control compartments after an in-depth search.
Pivot confirmed the entire crew, comprised of nine Canadian residents, one Indian resident and one Dominican resident, has been detained since the discovery.
“The Public Prosecutor’s Office and the DNCD are keeping several persons under investigation, who are being interrogated to determine their possible implication,” a press release issued April 6 said.
On Tuesday, Pivot said that the Dominican court has “decided to improve the conditions for [their] crew, and have outlined a process for their eventual release from detention.”
“We are grateful for the decision and are working diligently to secure their release,” the airline said.
When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada told CTV News Toronto they were “aware” of the detention, but that further details couldn’t be provided due to privacy considerations.