Tuesday, June 08, 2004

How strange. As things went bad again in the Congo..

..one of Viktor Bout's old aeroplanes turned up next door in Rwanda. In a hurry, so will simply report that the Tupolev 154 that belonged to two of his operations, Mold-Transavia and Centrafricain, and was involved in the "she-guns" affair, is now apparently registered in Rwanda by something called "Regional International Air Services". Given the fact that the warring factions of eastern Congo have developed the habit of exporting via the UAE, this does not sound terribly good news. But somehow, not very surprising.

Update, 09/06/04
One of Bout's first operations was an airline called MoldTransavia, which operated out of Moldova. It featured in a wide variety of nefarious activity in Africa until Bout closed it down after its ownership became too well known. One of its aircraft, a Tu-154 of serial number 895, has now reappeared in the name of Regional International, based in Rwanda with the Rwandan registration 9XR-DU. Reportedly it is using Centrafricain's call sign. No wonder the war in the eastern Congo apparently re-declared itself.

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