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a plague o both your houses

Lan Peru: Flying High

Lan (LFL) is the Chilean airline company that has a combination of a monopolistic hold and best local service on the West side of continental South America. Lan Peru, its affiliate, basically owns the air in the land of the Inca. But now the story has emerged about how Lan staff supplement their salaries, as five Lan Peru aircrew were arrested last year for running cocaine from Lima to Madrid, but the arrests were kept secret by authorities until Peruvian TV’s investigative reporter show “El Cuarto Poder” (the fourth power) revealed all last night. This morning Lan issued a terse press release that confirmed that “some of their aircrew are involved” in something or other.

It turns out that Jorge Chávez International airport is a veritable sieve for large-scale drug-running amongst LAN staff. The system came to light because on Novemeber 5th 2008 one of the gang asked a colleague to carry a secretly cocaine filled case to Madrid. The innocent victim was stopped on a routine check by Madrid customs and the drugs were discovered. When the innocent got her story believed and eyes fell on the real guilty party and after a surveillance operation, five Peruvian nationals and Lan Peru staff were arrested on December 1st. All are in deep, deep trouble.

But why have the five arrests been kept secret all this time? Well the implication is pretty clear; there are more airline staff running drugs through Jorge Chávez Intl Airport (now known as “the colander”) and the drugs squad wanted to catch as many baddies as possible. However, expect The Miami Herald to blame Evo Chávez or Hugo Morales or somebody, because an organized network like this couldn’t possibly exist within South America without those lousy commies being involved, could it?

Anyway, all pretty embarrassing for LFL to be mixed up in all this stuff that only the FARC supposedly does, innit?. You just can’t get the staff these days, can you………

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