No papers, no take-off permission

No papers, no take-off permission

No papers, no take-off permission

A cargo plane reportedly carrying gold is kept at Atatürk Airport. DHA photo

Turkish customs officials will not release a plane being held at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport for its alleged unregistered cargo of 1.5 tons of gold until the owner submits the required documents, an official said yesterday.

”A private plane came from Ghana. It should have declared the content of the load within 24 hours. But no documents have been submitted. The comments on the load of the plane do not depend on a document,” Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı told journalists during a meeting in Istanbul.

“That plane cannot take off without submitting the documents to the customs officials,” he said.

The A300 plane, one of two cargo planes in the fleet of Turkey’s ULS firm, was bound for Dubai. It 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 crew-change because of heavy fog.

ULS executives, who blame the anonymous owner of the load for the lack of documentation, said yesterday on the phone that they were still waiting for the Dubai firm to finalize the process.

The air freight company claims that it submitted the required papers about the gold load in full.

Several media reports said the alleged gold cargo might be related to Turkey’s “gold for gas” trade with Iran, as the United Arab Emirates was reportedly a link in the transactions.