Nearly a month after they were detained on suspicion of smuggling gold out of Congo, the flight crew and passengers of a Texas-registered Gulfstream jet are still being held in a hotel in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The U.S. embassy in Kinshasa has sent a representative to check on the detainees, including Kase Lawal, a Nigerian-born U.S. citizen who oversees $2.4-billion Houston energy firm CAMAC and who was recently appointed to an advisory post in the Obama administration.
Aviation news service AIN has details on the detention:
After taking on cargo, the flight crew of the chartered jet was preparing to depart from Goma when an armored personnel carrier stopped next to them. With machine guns pointed at the Gulfstream, a “colonel” jumped off the truck and told the flight crew and passengers, “Get out of the plane.” When the pilot-in-command hesitated, the colonel added, “Get out of the plane now or you’re not going to like the consequences.”