By MARK LORENZANA
A Bell 206 Jet Ranger model helicopter, which was used to offer air taxi services and air tours in Mexico City, was reportedly stolen from its hangar at the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) on Wednesday, Aug. 3.
According to authorities investigating the matter, aviation pilot Jesús Silvestre, who was identified as the owner of the aircraft, was allegedly kidnapped in June of this year in the south-central Mexican state of Morelos, and has yet to be found. Silvestre had also been, allegedly, the recipient of death threats from organized crime there.
One of the employees of the AICM allegedly informed Silvestre’s wife that the helicopter could not be found in the hangar of the FBO Helicopter Executive Center, a company that provides parking services for private aircraft at the AICM. Silvestre’s wife also admitted to authorities that her husband had already incurred a debt for failing to pay for the helicopter’s parking fees.
Meanwhile, the AICM denied any responsibility for the alleged theft of the helicopter, even though the hangar was located inside its facilities.
Through a message on the official Twitter account of the airport, the AICM said that the safety and security of private aircraft falls on the owners themselves, and the private companies that it rents its hangars to, like the aforementioned FBO Helicopter Executive Center, which provides parking, safekeeping and maintenance services to its clients.
Initial investigations on the alleged theft reported that unidentified individuals forced open the hangar and stole the helicopter.