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IRAN: TWO AIRBUS A340 BELONGING TO THE GAMBIA LEASING COMPANY, MACKA INVEST, WERE SMUGGLED INTO IRAN, EVADING SANCTIONS.

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According to the vz.lt business news website, two Airbus A340s, which were scheduled to depart from Lithuania’s Šiauliai for Sri Lanka and the Philippines in late February, were ultimately diverted to Iran. The aircraft were owned by Gambia’s leasing company, Macka Invest.

Upon entering Iran, the aircraft’s transponders were deactivated. One aircraft landed at Mehrabad airport in Tehran and the other at Konarak airport in Chabahar, located in the southern region of the country, according to the aviation data platform ch-aviation. This information was relayed shortly thereafter.

Mahan Air, an aviation company that operates in Iran, successfully retrieved two of its aircraft by circumventing the current US sanctions regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, as reported by vz.lt.

A third aircraft, which belonged to Macka Invest, was still in Šiauliai. The spare parts it carried were the reason it was prohibited from taking off, according to Aurelija Kuezada, the superintendent of Šiauliai Airport.

“The aircraft was scheduled to arrive in the Philippines; however, it is feasible that it may have made an emergency landing in Iran.” There was no way to prevent that. Kuezada stated, “We simply could not let it go when we discovered that the initial aircraft had touched down in Iran.”

Oro Navigacija, Lithuania’s state-owned navigation service provider, informed vz.lt that the three aircraft did not elicit any suspicions and that their movement outside Lithuanian airspace was within the jurisdiction of air navigation service providers in other countries.

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