Mon, 22 Oct 2018

Gupta plane returned to Lanseria - reports

14 Apr 2018, 19:39 GMT+10

The multi-million-rand aircraft at the centre of a legal dispute between Gupta owned businesses, an Ireland based aircraft company and the Canadian government, has apparently been returned to Lanseria airport.

The Guptas had a lease agreement with Export Development Canada (EDC) and Stoneriver for the Bombadier Global 6000 aircraft but are currently engaged in a legal dispute in UK courts over the agreement.

Last month the High Court issued an interim order that the aircraft, with a listing price of $60.5 million, (R731 million), be held at Lanseria pending the outcome of the UK court proceedings.

High Court Judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane ordered the plane to be delivered to Lanseria airport along with all appliances, components and necessary equipment within 15 days.

READ: Guptas ordered to return controversial aircraft within 15 days

Part of the reasons given by Kathree-Setiloane, was that the transponder of the aircraft had been turned off, resulting in the owners having no way to determine where the aircraft was.

Earlier this week the Guptas filed for leave to appeal the high court ruling.

READ: Court was wrong to ground our plane - Guptas

On Friday night several people tweeted that the aircraft's transponder had been turned back on, and the aircraft was picked up travelling from Dubai back to South Africa.

The aircraft was seen landing at the Lanseria airport, which is where Judge Kathree-Setiloane had ordered it to be held.

Eyewitness News reporter, Mandy Weiner, reported that the aircraft appeared to be empty, with only two pilots seen disembarking from the craft.

Weiner also reported police had also boarded the aircraft and were seen carrying bags.

The plane, which has its own parody account on Twitter, also confirmed it's return, and appeared to be disappointed that it had not received a bigger welcome party on its arrival.

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