The Portuguese Air Force (FAP) has incorporated a new business jet for Esquadra 504 Linces, a air group whose duties include transporting Portuguese authorities, including the country’s president.
However, what draws the most attention is the unusual origin of the aircraft, a Dassault Falcon 900B that had been confiscated in Brazil in February 2021 after the discovery of half a ton of cocaine hidden inside.
The business jet suffered a breakdown when it was about to take off from Salvador International Airport, in Bahia, towards Portugal. After being inspected by mechanics, more than 500 kg of cocaine were found in packages hidden in the fuselage of the plane.
An investigation by the Brazilian Federal Police found at the time that it was an attempt at international drug trafficking with the Falcon 900B made by a former police major who was arrested in Lisbon in June last year.
Operating alongside a Falcon 50
“This new aircraft increases the Air Force’s strategic transport capacity in missions to transport patients over long distances. The aircraft now received is in the operational readiness phase, and it is expected that it will soon begin to be operated by the Linces”, said the FAP in a statement released on February 26.
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Having flown with several operators for almost 30 years, the aircraft was under the ownership of the Portuguese investment fund Parvalorem, which in turn acquired the jet in 2022 from the company Omni Aviação e Tecnologia, also from Portugal.
Last month, the plane was purchased by the Portuguese Ministry of Defence, which passed it on to the FAP special transport group to join the Falcon 50, a smaller business jet, also from Dassault.