Gold laden ‘mystery plane’ takes off from Istanbul
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
A cargo plane that was held at Atatürk Airport for nearly three weeks for missing documents, has left for Dubai. DHA photo
An A300 plane, one of two cargo planes in the fleet of Turkey’s ULS firm that was allegedly carrying 1.5 tons of unregistered gold worth $65 million, departed from Istanbul Atatürk Airport on Jan. 18.
After the required documents were submitted to custom officials on Jan. 17, the cargo plane took off for Dubai at 3.50 a.m. the following day.
The custom officials said ULS would have to pay a 152 Turkish Liras fine to customs because of the delay, adding that it cost 120 liras if it was paid cash, contradicting media claims that it may be fined triple the value of the gold, roughly estimated at $195 million.
However, The General Directorate of State Airports Authority [DHMİ] stated that the plane had been parked on the ramp at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, which was worth a 3,400 lira fine.
The A300 plane, which was bound for Dubai, was initially going to land at Sabiha Gökçen on Istanbul’s Asian side on Jan. 1, but was diverted to Atatürk Airport for refueling and a crew-change due to heavy fog.