Local March 27, 2013 | 6:52 am

Punta Cana drug plane belongs to French businessman

Santo Domingo.- The plane in which 680 packages of cocaine were foundin Punta Cana airport last week belongs to a prominent French businessman, whoowns more than 260 opticians stores in Spain.

The Falcon F-50, registrationF-GXMC, belongs to Alain Afflelou, founder of the optician chain thatbears his name, who reportedly hired the aircraft to a French company, SNTranshelicoptère Services (SN THS).

According to French online newspublication Le Point.fr, SN THS did not conduct a background check on AlainCastany and an associate, who rented the plane.

As reported, the pilot, Alain MarcPaul Marie Castany, who was detained when the consignment was detected, hadbeen sentenced to 18 months in jail in March 2012 for failing to observeaviation safety rules.

The aircraft was intercepted by theauthorities at Punta Cana International Airport on March 20th whenit was about to depart for France.

During the anti-drug operation theauthorities detained 35 people, including Drug Control, Airport Security andCustoms agents. A court in Higuey will rule on preventive custody measureslater today. The Public Prosecution service is requesting one year’s preventivecustody.

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