Three pilots and three ground staff detained after more than 175 pounds of cocaine allegedly were found stashed on a Martinair Cargo-operated freighter in Buenos Aires, Argentina, have been released, according to Martinair and parent company KLM. Original reports had indicated seven people were arrested in connection with the drug seizure.
The Dutch companies said they were “sincerely delighted” to confirm the release of the crew and would not be making any substantive statements about the matter due to privacy concerns for the employees involved while the investigation is ongoing. Asked whether the Dutch nationals on the crew were free to leave Argentina, a KLM spokesperson said, “We are working on the formalities.”
The alleged drug seizure was made at Ezeiza International Airport near Buenos Aires. The Boeing 747 freighter had arrived in Argentina from Sao Paulo and was scheduled to stop in Ecuador and Miami on its way back to Amsterdam. The discovery was made shortly before the aircraft was slated to leave Buenos Aires, according to media reports.
The aircraft involved has not been released by Argentinian authorities, KLM said. The airline is cooperating with the investigation.