Sources say that the network has been denounced for years by entity officials but, to date, no investigation has been carried out
File image of the facade of the main building of the Civil Aeronautics (Aerocivil). They denounce a network of corruption and drug trafficking in the Aerocivil. Photo: Aerocivil
The Civil Aeronautics (Aerocivil) is once again in the eye of the hurricane, this time, due to an alleged criminal network that it has engendered in the same where not only million-dollar bribes are collected to issue licenses for pilots, but also through which drug shipments are being trafficked.
The complaints, reported by Semana magazine, affect nearly 100 Aerocivil officials whose positions correspond to managers, contractors, air traffic controllers, regional workers and even firefighters.< /p>
According to the documents to which the Bogotá publication had access, within the aeronautical authority a drug trafficking network operates through some officials who, among other things, they turn off the radars or take them out of operation to be able to send and receive the aircraft with the drug shipments.
The drug trafficking network, according to the Bogotá media, works through of the regional air operators who have orders to turn off the radars so that the aircraft can enter or leave Colombian airspace, or to establish places where the planes are located to load the cocaine .
You can also read: A cabin, two mattresses and eight bottles of water for the week: the life of Nancy González in the El Buen Pastor prison in Bogotá
“The controller (name withheld) who with the assigned vehicle knocked down the security fence to pass, on one side, without using the vehicle's identification and authorization card (…) that car is used, among other irregular activities, to facilitate the entry of drug trafficking. Has a load capacity of two tons”, reads the report obtained by Semana magazine.
A source consulted by the same outlet even revealed that, in the so-called “high seasons”, it is the drug traffickers themselves who warn which aircraft are entering and leaving the country, and later it is the Aerocivil technicians who turn off the radars so that the planes can be loaded b>.
“At that moment, more than five aircraft pass by in a row… It is detected in the control center, an investigation is opened… but nothing happens”, the source assured the Bogotá publication.
But the complaints in the report refer not only to the fact that the radars were turned off on purpose, but also that the devices have been left out of service o , even, members of the Air Force have prevented maintenance from being carried out on radars or microwaves.
You can also read: Gustavo Petro was recognized as distinguished guest in Mexico City for “its long history of struggle for democracy”
In one of the documents in the dossier known to Semana, it is detailed as the Carimagua radar, which covers air operations in the departments of Meta, Casanare, Arauca and Vichada, has been out of service since last August, while communications equipment, ground-air transmitters and receivers in Puerto Inírida, have been for more than a year.
“In Pompeya (Aerocivil station in the east of the country), a strong blizzard knocked down the turret that supported the microwave antennas and communications equipment. In addition, the equipment room floor gave way, damaging the power system. It is urgent that this station, which helps the operation of the Villavicencio frequency with the traffic of helicopters and planes, be recovered,” says the report obtained by the Bogota magazine.
Pilot licenses in exchange for millions of dollars
Archive image of Acdac pilots. They denounce that in Aerocivil bribes are paid to issue licenses to pilots. Photo: Colprensa-Alvaro Tavera
But the drug-trafficking scandal is not the only incident affecting Civil Aeronautics. A series of audios obtained by Semana revealed how, in an alternate office of the entity, a woman -identified asAdriana Ávila-, “they can turn a truck driver into an airplane pilot” paying million sums of money that can even reach 10 million pesos.
In one of the recordings obtained by the same medium, it is heard how a pilot tells an Aerocivil official how, despite not comply with all the flight hours required in Colombia to obtain his license, Ávila managed to “Leave him as an experienced commercial pilot” by paying him a large sum of money.
“–I even told the old woman why not rather tell Quijano that how much does he charge me, that he accepts money from me, but he does not include any false certificates.
–And that's why he sent the girl?
–Of course… He told me everything through the old woman”.
The dossiers obtained by Semana magazine also give an account of the Hiring “ghost” personnel at Aerocivil, that is, people who appear on the entity's payroll, but who have no position and whom no one has met. The complaints point to the fact that there are more than 30 “ghost” officials that the air authority has.
The explosive revelations made by the Bogota publication led to , the Minister of Transportation, Guillermo Reyes, and the director (e) of Civil Aeronautics, Francisco Ospina Ramírez , will schedule a press conference around noon this Saturday to deliver statements on the subject.
During the meeting, the Minister of Transportation announced that the General Comptroller's Office, the Prosecutor's Office and the Attorney General's Office will carry out an investigation into the complaints “corruption, mismanagement at airports, contracting, non-compliance with rules regarding tenders” that have been carried out within the Aerocivil.