Why is a Canadian flight crew being held in the Dominican Republic?

By The Big Story

On April 5, Bal Krishna Dubey, a mechanic working for Pivot Airlines, was inspecting a plane in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, ahead of its flight to Toronto’s Pearson airport. Inside the plane’s maintenance bay, he encountered some duffel bags that were not supposed to be there. The crew reported what he saw to authorities, who subsequently found around $25-million worth of cocaine in the wayward luggage.

Instead of being treated like heroes, the flight’s crew, and its seven passengers, were all detained by Dominican authorities. The crew was placed in a cramped holding cell for nine days, and what became of the passengers is at this point unclear.

Tracey Lindeman is a Canadian journalist who has been covering this story for The Guardian. She joins The Big Story to discuss her reporting, and outline the questions that linger around this case.

“There’s a bigger context for what’s going on with the Pivot crew and these passengers, that not everyone fully understands here in Canada,” she said.

So what, if anything is the Canadian government doing to repatriate the crew? Could this case set a scary precedent that endangers Canadian travellers? And maybe most perplexingly: where are the passengers?

GUEST: Tracey Lindeman, writing in The Guardian

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