Frenchman extradited over escape of ‘Air Cocaine’ pilots

Pascal Fauret (left) and Bruno Odos leave the Court House in Santo Domingo after a hearing on May 8, 2014. Mr Naudin is accused of helping pilots Pascal Fauret (left) and Bruno Odos (right) escape the Dominican Republic

Egypt has extradited a Frenchman to the Dominican Republic for allegedly helping two French pilots sentenced in a drug case escape from the island.

The pilots were arrested in 2013 preparing to take off in a plane carrying 26 suitcases of cocaine.

They were sentenced to 20 years in jail but during the appeal process fled to the French Antilles and on to France.

Christophe Naudin, a criminologist and aviation security expert, is suspected of having planned their escape.

A plane carrying him landed at Santo Domingo airport early on Friday, according to a spokesperson for the country’s prosecutor-general.

A judge in the Dominican Republic had issued an arrest warrant for him in December and two other Frenchmen who are also suspected of having aided the pilots’ escape.  The Attorney General of the Dominican Republic said he was pleased Mr Naudin had been extradited

Mr Naudin was arrested in Egypt on 4 February. It is not clear what he was doing in Egypt or why he travelled there.

The French foreign minister said on Thursday that “France has done everything it could to support Naudin”.

‘Air Cocaine’ case

Pilots Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos were arrested in 2013 preparing to take off in a plane carrying 26 suitcases of cocaine.

They were sentenced to 20 years in prison but during the appeal process fled to the French Antilles and then on to France, allegedly with the help of Mr Naudin and two other French nationals, Aymeric Chauprade and Pierre Malinowski.

Fauret and Odos say they are innocent and have vowed to clear their names.

After their escape they returned to France, where they were re-arrested in November.

An appeals court in the Dominican Republic has since upheld their 20-year prison sentence but French officials have said they will not extradite them.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35720128

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