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French Pilots Escape the Dominican Republic--and Pending Drug Charges

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    PARIS - Two French pilots facing 20 years in a Dominican Republic prison for cocaine trafficking made a daring escape, sneaking home across the Atlantic.

    The escape from judicial supervision by pilots Pascal Jean Fauret and Bruno Odos, confirmed by their lawyer and a French official, now puts them in unusual legal limbo. The two had insisted on their innocence since their arrest in 2013. They were barred from leaving the Dominican Republic pending an appeal of this year's conviction. Their lawyer Jean Reinhart said on Europe-1 radio Tuesday that the two are now in France and at the "disposition" of French justice in hopes of clearing their names. He didn't give details about how they escaped, but the circumstances reported in French media sound cinematic.

    BFM television reported that they left on a purported local tourist cruise, then transferred to a larger boat with the help of a French politician, former naval officers and former intelligence agents - "friends" of the pilots from their service in the French Navy.

    The two were then taken to the French Antilles, where they boarded a commercial flight for Paris, BFM reported. Their lawyer said they traveled under their real names. An official with the French Foreign Ministry said the French government had nothing to do with their escape from justice in the Dominican Republic. The official was not authorized to be publicly named according to ministry policy.

    The pilots were among eight people convicted for involvement in a 700-kilogram (1,500-pound) shipment of cocaine in 2013. The pilots said they didn't know the plane was carrying 26 suitcases of cocaine. The arrests came after a lengthy investigation into a drug-trafficking ring.

    "It is not true justice," Reinhart said. "When you have an order that is illegal, you have to not respect it." He said the pilots are now with their families, suffering from respiratory and dental problems but "happy to be in their country."

    AP/Oct. 27, 2015
    Newshawk News

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Re: French Pilots Escape the Dominican Republic...But How, and Who Helped Them?

    [IMGR=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=46588&stc=1&d=1446062643[/IMGR]Amid claims and robust denials of a state rescue, speculation now surrounds the escape of two convicted French pilots and claimed cocaine traffickers from the Dominican Republic.

    The protagonists of the case dubbed “Air Cocaine”, Pascal Fauret, 55, and Bruno Odos, 56, were sentenced to 20 years in jail for drug trafficking in August.

    The pair were free to move around under judicial supervision pending an appeals court hearing. They say they escaped custody on a speedboat to the Franco-Dutch island of Saint-Martin on 19 October, before flying to Martinique and, from there, back home on Saturday.

    A picture of the pair racing away from the island on a speedboat with another blurred-out individual surfaced on BFMTV, prompting speculation over possible accomplices.

    Initial reports suggest Fauret and Odos had been dropped at sea by helicopter and picked up by boat. Then, there were claims a helicopter had been rented as a decoy to fool Dominican authorities. Fauret and Odos were arrested along with two other French nationals – Nicolas Pisapia and Alain Castany – in March 2013 while preparing to take off for St Tropez in a Falcon 50 jet. Some 26 suitcases, carrying 680kg of cocaine were discovered on board, and all four were imprisoned for 15 months while awaiting trial for drug trafficking. They deny knowing they were transporting cocaine.

    Their lawyer Éric Dupond-Moretti said discussing details of the escape was “out of the question” and dispelled any suspicions the French government or secret services may have played a role. “This was a personal initiative. It was not a team of spooks paid by the French state,” he said.

    Others disagree. BFMTV claimed an escape plan was organised with the help of retired marines and two former agents from the DGSE, France’s equivalent of MI6. The newspaper Le Figaro quoted security sources saying the operation in the Dominican Republic “was organised from Paris”.

    Much focus was on the pilots’ claimed meeting with a Front National MEP and close adviser to the party’s leader Marine le Pen on the day of their escape. Aymeric Chauprade tweeted a photo of the meeting. While admitting he was aware of elements of the operation he has denied active involvement, dismissing a bill in his name for an option on a helicopter printed by the magazine Valeurs Actuelles.

    Meanwhile, Mr Pisapia and Mr Castany, the two Frenchmen left behind in the Dominican Republic, said they are afraid the escape will jeopardise the appeal they are hoping will overturn their sentences. Mr Castany told Le Parisien newspaper it was “a nightmare” and that he felt like he had “been stabbed in the back” by the pilots.

    By Amelia Jenn - The Independent/Oct. 28, 2015
    Photo: Getty Images
    Newshawk Crew
  2. Inquirer
    It was not an scape,it was a release!,all people who has a prison sentence of 20 years can not be at

    home how they were.
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