Ghanaian mining company, Engineers & Planners (E&P) says it has not breached any international aviation rules regarding a Bombardier jet aircraft it operates which landed in Iran without approval.
E&P was reacting to news first published by the New York Times Newspaper and also produced by sections of the Ghanaian media about a US flagged plane in Iran which was traced to Ghana and linked to the mining company.
The story titled ”U.S.-Flagged plane in Iran has ties to Ghana” questioned the basis on which a US airline landed in Iran without approval.
“New details emerged on Friday about an American plane, owned by a small community bank in Utah and mysteriously parked this week at Tehran’s airport, showing that it had been leased by a Ghanaian mining company owned by a brother of Ghana’s president,” the story said.
“A confidential document reviewed by The New York Times showed that the plane is held in a trust by the Bank of Utah on behalf of the mining company, Engineers and Planners, which is based in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. As the beneficiary of the trust, the company operates the plane. The company’s chief executive is Ibrahim Mahama, a brother of President John Dramani Mahama,” the New York Times story added.
But a statement signed by the Executive Director of Engineers and Planners, Mr. Adi Ayitevie said, “our attention has been drawn to a number of articles circulating in both the international and local media regarding a Bombardier jet aircraft we operated in Ghana.”
The statement added that the said aircraft only transported a group of Ghanaian business executives to Iran and has since returned to Ghana.
“The said trip was made in conformity with all international aviation laws,” it said.
The statement also disputed claims by the New York Times Newspaper that President Mahama was once transported by the said aircraft.
“We wish to also state that the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has never been transported by the said aircraft,” the E&P statement noted.
Officials of Engineers and Planners said the story by the New York Times was speculative since it has not received any queries from US law enforcement agencies about international aviation rules regarding the flagged plane.