747s owner claims planes not abandoned

PETALING JAYA - The "missing" owner of the three aircraft parked at the KL International Airport insists that it has not abandoned the planes, claiming that the company has been in contact with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) on a "consistent basis".

SWIFT Air Cargo chief executive officer Capt Blue Peterson (pic) said the three Boeing 747s that were featured in advertisements in The Star and Sin Chew Daily on Dec 7 belonged to the company.

In response, MAHB still maintains that the ownership of the three aircraft "could not be satisfactorily verified".

Capt Peterson said SWIFT owned the three aircraft since June 8 this year, but had been denied access to them by MAHB.

"MAHB, for some unfathomable reason, refuses to acknowledge SWIFT as the owner, even though we have all the supporting documents, including the Bill of Sale for the three aircraft," he told The Star yesterday.

The sale of the aircraft to SWIFT Air Cargo was witnessed by solicitor Syed Amir Ibrahim of Syed Ibrahim & Co when the documents were signed in Kuala Lumpur.

When contacted, Syed Amir confirmed the sale.

Capt Peterson also claimed that he had a Statutory Declaration from the previous owner notarised in Hong Kong, with the Malaysian Consulate stamping it.

"All the many various supporting documents clearly state that SWIFT is the owner of all three B747s.

"The deputy director of airworthiness for the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) will also verify that the paperwork is accurate and acceptable," he added.

Capt Peterson said he had multiple face-to-face meetings with MAHB, the first being on June 17 with their senior general manager of operations services.

He said since then, he had been consistently told that he would have access to his aircraft in "one or two weeks". But until now, they refuse to allow access," he said, adding that each request for documentation was supplied to MAHB.

Capt Peterson said the last meeting with MAHB was on Oct 12, with both the chief operating officer and the general manager present, and the last communication with MAHB was on Nov 3.

MAHB had published the advertisements to serve as notice to the owners of the three aircraft, saying that the planes might be sold or disposed of if not collected within 14 days.

When contacted yesterday, MAHB responded via e-mail: "As we have mentioned before, the issuance of our notice was a legal process for debt recovery. Up to this point, the claims of ownership could not be satisfactorily verified. We urge the rightful owner to furnish us with the required information for verification."

SWIFT Air Cargo is a new cargo airline based in Kuala Lumpur, which is set to fly from the Far East to Africa and South America.

It is currently called Splunk n' Dash Sdn Bhd until the change of name is approved by the DCA and Companies Commission of Malaysia.