Last of plane crew detained in Argentina reach Venezuela

TEHRAN, Oct. 22 (MNA) – The five remaining crew members of a Venezuelan cargo plane detained since June in Argentina arrived in Venezuela on Friday.

The three Iranians and two Venezuelans are part of a group of 19 crew members of a Boeing 747 cargo plane owned by Venezuelan company Emtrasur, which since it landed in Argentina has been involved in an international judicial and diplomatic saga.

The plane, sold by Iranian company Mahan Air to Venezuelan airline Emtrasur, was immobilized by Argentine officials at Ezeiza International Airport as both Venezuela and Iran, which signed a 20-year cooperation accord in June, are under draconian US sanctions.  

In mid-September, the La Plata Federal Appeals Court authorized the departure of 12 out of 19 crew members of the Venezuelan Emtrasur plane, which had been held in Argentina for over three months.

In August, Federal Judge Federico Villena authorized the departure of 11 Venezuelans and one Iranian. Simultaneously, he ordered a ban on leaving the country against the other seven crew members.

Transport Minister Ramon Velasquez told Telesur he was celebrating "the freedom of the 19 crew members that who were kidnapped by the Argentine judiciary."

The minister recalled that the crew members did not commit any crime and emphasized that they were detained in performing their duties.

The official said the three Iranian crew members would return to their country of origin this Saturday to reunite with their families.

"The Iranian pilots and instructors who arrived today will be returning to their families in Tehran tomorrow," he said.

Hojattollah Soltani, the ambassador of Iran to Venezuela congratulated the return of the remaining five crew members of the Venezuelan plane.

ZZ/IRN84919583

News Code 192735

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