Twelve Canadians who’ve been detained within the Dominican Republic since final spring discovered Friday that they’re going residence.
The prosecutor within the case, west of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, has submitted the paperwork to free the 5 airline crew members and 7 passengers of Pivot Air, a Toronto-based firm that had been chartered by the passengers to fly to the tropical Island on March 31.
It nonetheless must licensed by a choose, however that’s thought of to be a formality.
On April 5, as they have been making ready to fly the group again to Canada, the Pivot air mechanic found 8 duffle baggage stashed within the avionics bay within the stomach of the aircraft. The crew instantly notified native authorities. Inside the baggage: 210 kilograms of cocaine.
The crew and passengers had their passports confiscated and have been detained in what they describe as deplorable situations in a Dominican jail.
In interviews with W5, the feminine passengers say their cell was so small and crowded that once they lay down on the concrete to sleep, their toes prolonged past the bars. They additionally declare they have been punished for crying.
At the jail for males, the crew members say they went days with out meals or water, and have been underneath fixed threats.
The crew spent 9 days in jail, the passengers 21, earlier than being launched on bail, however they have been barred from leaving the nation. Since their detention 250 days in the past, the crew has been trapped in Dominican Republic unable to depart whereas authorities declare to be investigating how the cocaine ended up within the 50-seat jet.
The crew and passengers say they have been by no means as soon as interviewed by Dominican authorities and no expenses have been ever laid in opposition to them.
The paperwork signed in the present day outlined the tip to what’s described because the “coercive measurements,” which implies the detainment of the 12 Canadians and the seizure of the aircraft. It is unclear how lengthy it is going to take earlier than the 12 Canadians can depart the nation and return to Canada. They have been advised it may take as much as two weeks to course of the paperwork.
In a joyous celebration on the Pivot Air secure home, the crew members hugged one another and cried in disbelief. In an emotional cellphone name to interrupt the excellent news to his daughter, Pivot air pilot Rob DiVenanzo stated, via tears, “Girl, I am coming home.”
Watch W5’s documentary, ‘Investigation Cocaine Air’ on Dec. 10, 2022