Antigua: Job in limbo for accused cocaine pilot

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Antigua: Job in limbo for accused cocaine pilot
Colin Murraine (file photo)
Colin Murraine (file photo)

(ANTIGUA OBSERVER) – The Managing Director of Fly Caribbean Helicopters Limited, Neil Dickinson, said he has not received any official information about his chief pilot who has been arrested for cocaine possession and trafficking.

But, Dickinson said although the agency that arrested Colin Murraine has not said anything to him (Dickinson) as yet, he’s seeking advice about the pilot’s employment with the airline.

He said that this follows the news that the court has taken possession of Murraine’s passport as part of his bail conditions. Dickinson said having a passport is one of the most critical requirements for a pilot. “There is no question about that, and obviously this new information you’re telling me now has to be reviewed by the company and Mr. Murraine’s current position would have to be reviewed by the company accordingly,” he said when our newsroom told him of Murraine’s bail conditions set by High Court Justice Clare Henry.

He said the company’s legal team is looking at the wider matter and Murraine’s future because, without a passport, he cannot perform his duties as the chief pilot in charge of airplane operations. Since his arrest, Murraine’s vehicle was removed from the parking area outside the airline, but this was done on Saturday before his bail was granted. It is unclear who removed it. Additionally, new information from sources who work in the area is that he was transported to the airport gate and beyond in a taxi before he boarded the Dominican Republic-registered private jet allegedly with the cocaine.

Dickinson said he was unaware of the details and that the only information he had about the matter was what he read in reports in this newspaper. Meanwhile, Murraine’s boss said the company has already taken steps to ensure the arrest does not create any challenges with operations. “Mr. Murraine’s absence from the company has not impacted Caribbean Helicopters’ of Fly CHL’s operations in any way, shape or form. We have a number of pilots, and when we found out about this particular set of circumstances, we immediately contacted the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority and arranged for one of our other pilots to ascend to the role of acting chief pilot until we receive clarity on the matter,” he said.

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