DRC plane crash looters arrested

Three Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers and a policeman were arrested for stealing from the wreckage of a plane crash and rifling through the pockets of dead passengers earlier this month, judicial sources said Wednesday.

The four are suspected of looting “gold jewelry, handbags, shoes and clothes worth more than $1-million,” Kisangani military prosecutor Jean-Baptiste Kungu said.

According to the transport ministry, 83 people died when a Boeing 727 operated by Hewa Bora crashed at Kisangani airport, in the country’s northeast, as it attempted to land in heavy rain.

Kungu said one of the victims was a businessman carrying $800 000 in cash.

The four raised suspicion when they started buying expensive goods, including pieces of furniture worth more than $1 000, he explained.

The company’s licence was suspended by the authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two traffic controllers were detained for providing faulty guidance and a fire officer for arriving late. — Sapa-AFP

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