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Ontario airline crew detained in Dominican Republic following major drug seizure

An Ontario airline's flight crew has been detained in the Dominican Republic since early April after officials at a local airport reportedly seized hundreds of packages of what is presumed to be cocaine.

The Pivot Airlines crew touched down at an airport in Punta Cana on April 5 and was set to return to Toronto when five crew members found and reported contraband on board, according to a statement from the airline.

Officials then discovered 200 packages in the control compartments of the aircraft, each of which contained a substance that appeared to be cocaine.

A statement from the Dominican Republic's National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD) confirmed that the 11-person crew — which includes nine Canadians, one Indian and one Dominican — has been detained in the country since the discovery and is undergoing interrogation.

"An extensive investigation process has been initiated around this case, the Public Ministry, assisted by DNCD agents, are working hard to clearly establish who is directly linked to the seizure of the substance," the press release states.

The airline has since confirmed that the Dominican court has agreed
to improve the conditions under which the crew is currently living, and they've also 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.

Lead photo by

Pivot Airlines

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