Zimbabwe – A bleeding body was found Monday on a U.S. plane owned by Western Global Airlines (WGA). The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) impounded the aircraft, when a pilot that was traveling from Germany to South Africa made a stop in the Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. According to WGA, the body is presumed to be a stowaway.
Personnel and officials from the South African central bank were on the MD11 cargo plane, according to South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, who exclusively talked to Reuters.
He stressed that the dead man was a stowaway, “Where did the person get in there? When and how? Because the crew and the Reserve Bank authorities who were there accompanying the cargo were not aware,” he said to Reuters.
Local authorities are already conducting an investigation. According to the state-owned ZBC TV, two United States citizens, one South African and a Pakistan were onboard. Sowetan Live, another local newspaper, said that the crew was arrested after they said they had hit a bird in the air. Other sources reported that the aircraft belongs to South Africa’s central bank.
Western Global Airlines also said that the man was a stowaway, who apparently entered the plane without being noticed, during a different stop. According to The Herald, which is the Zimbabwe’s leading newspaper, the pilot had previously requested to land in Mozambique but the solicitude was denied.
It appears that when the airplane was being refueled at the Zimbabwe’s airport, staff observed that there was blood trickling from the plane and then discovered a suspended dead body, added the anonymous source who talked to The Herald.
Local authorities did not report more details about the stowaway. That being said, the newspaper from Zimbabwe stressed that millions of South African rands were found into the plane. One million rand is the equivalent of $62,500.
Western Global Airlines describes itself as the world’s fastest growing cargo airline. Last year, when the Ebola crisis was hitting West Africa, agencies hired it to transport personnel and supplies to the region.
A similar situation occurred in 2004, when the Zimbabwean civil aviation arrested 64 mercenaries who wanted to participate in a coup in Equatorial Guinea. Local police officials have not answered many media questions, but more information is expected to be provided by state authorities.