A cargo plane owned by a US airline based in Estero Florida was impounded by Zimbabwean aviation authorities after a dead body later concluded to be a stowaway and millions of rand were found on board the plane. A senior official said on Monday. The impounded plane was refused landing in Mozambique before the crew requested for a technical landing in Zimbabwe.
State-run Herald newspaper reported that the impounded plane was travelling from Germany to South Africa “with millions of South African rand.” Plus a dead body on board.
However the company said:
“Western Global Airlines Boeing MD-11 freighter aircraft is leased to Network Airline Management, a long-time customer based in the UK, and the shipment consignee was the South African Reserve Bank. Western Global’s aircraft fly for Network Airline Management from Europe to Africa several times a week on a regular basis.”
“Western Global provides the aircraft and crew and Network Airline Management provides the cargo, loading and unloading, and ground security as required. Western Global Airlines, in association with Network Airline Management, has flown dozens of humanitarian missions to West Africa in support of the Ebola effort.”
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) general manager David Chawota said the impounded plane was searched after landing in Harare for refueling on Sunday.
The crew denied any knowledge of another person on the plane.
Judging from the pictures of the dead body, it appears that the deceased had sneaked into the plane’s landing gear which severed his arm when it contracted thereby causing a flow of blood on the fuselage when it landed. It was the blood that aroused the suspicion of the ground crew when the flight landed in Harare.
According to the Herald, the official crew on the plane includes two Americans, a South African and a Pakistani.
The South African ambassador has declined to comment on the issue.
The situation is currently said to be under review as the airline has not offered any clear answers to questions like- How did the stowaway get killed? and if the crew from the impounded plane had been arrested in connection to the incident.