UN inspectors complete inspection of plane suspected of Libya embargo violation
United Nations (UN) inspectors have completed their examination of a small aircraft stored in Cyprus that was reportedly suspected of violating a UN arms embargo on Libya, an aviation official in the east Mediterranean island nation said Friday.
Charis Antoniades, chief operations officer of Cyprus’ Department of Civil Aviation, told The Associated Press the inspectors finished their inspection of the single-engine propeller Thrush 550 aircraft over a single day on October 12, according to The Associated Press (AP).
It added that Libyan media reports suggested that the aircraft had either taken part in combat operations in Libya, or was used to run guns in violation of an arms embargo that the UN Security Council imposed on the country in 2011.
AP said that Antoniades said the aircraft first arrived at Cyprus’ main airport of Larnaca on July 18, 2019, from Amman, Jordan. Afterwards, the aircraft flew to the island’s secondary airport in Paphos on July 31, 2021 and has remained there since.
The Cypriot official said local authorities don’t have information about whom the aircraft belongs to because it’s not registered in Cyprus. He added that it’s still being assessed whether the plane had undergone any conversion for military use, but “no military equipment was visible” on it when it first arrived.
UN inspectors traveled to Cyprus after the world body notified Cypriot authorities in last August. They completed their work under the guidance of Cypriot police, Antoniades said.
AP said UN experts said previously that Trump ally, Eric Prince who was the founder of the notorious Blackwater military group, violated Libya arms embargo along with three UAE-based companies to support Khalifa Haftar in Libya, referring to "Opus Project" military operation to provide Haftar with weapons and military equipment for his war on Tripoli in 2019.