Friday, January 07, 2005

A Sudden Bout

Via Kathryn Cramer, (link), a source informs me about an interesting Viktor Bout development that may yet clear up one of the questions on his involvement in Iraq. It now appears that the Ilyushin 76 registered S9-DAE in Sao Tome and Principe, which was located by photos several times in Iraq in early 2004 wearing "Skylink" titles, was being operated by our old friends British Gulf International Airlines, on charter from a thing called "Goliaf Air" supposedly based in Sao Tome. This suggests that what I thought was a distinct Skylink contract may be the same thing as the BGIA one, unless of course BGIA was serving several masters.

Goliaf officially also has two An-12s. This is interesting, as the An12BP might explain a small mystery. One An12, S9-BOV, registered to the Sao Tome version of BGIA, apparently vanished some time after March 2001. Its registration later appeared on an An-26, serial no. 5610. No serial number is available for either S9-BOV or S9-BOZ. Could they be one and the same? Goliaf appeared in late 2002, or in other words not long before the Kyrgyz version of BGIA made its appearance. (Kyrgyz)BGIA also have an An12BP (reg. EX-045) whose history is unknown, but whose serial number is one digit different from Goliaf's An12BP (2340602 and 2340606). Which could also be significant.

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