Arrest Warrant Issued For Aviation Head in Honduras

August 22, 2008

TEGUCIGALPA – A judge issued an arrest warrant for Honduran Civil Aviation Agency chief Guillermo Seaman, who allegedly granted licenses illegally to Venezuelan and Peruvian pilots, among other crimes, the press reported Aug. 14.

Judge Alina Aguilera issued the arrest warrant last week at the request of the Attorney General’s Office’s organizedcrime bureau.

Seaman, whose whereabouts have not been known for several weeks, must now appear before the court, judicial officials said.

Prosecutors filed charges against Seaman last week for abuse of authority after several months of investigations.

Seaman approved licenses for 39 pilots, mechanics and flight assistants from Venezuela and Peru without requiring that they travel to Honduras to submit their applications and take tests, allowing lawyers to handle the process, Attorney General’s Office spokesman Melvin Duarte said earlier this week.

Duarte said Seaman was also being charged for granting “illegal permits” to U.S. airlines, which have not been identified, so they could offer charter flights “without complying with requirements or having insurance.”

Prosecutors “confirmed” that Seaman granted the permits “in open violation of the Civil Aviation Law” and “violated the procedures established for granting those approvals,” Duarte said.

It is not yet clear what the Venezuelan and Peruvian pilots have used the licenses for, but Honduran media reported that they may have been involved in drug smuggling.

 

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