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Stolen From Who

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The Okanagan Sunday, November 21, 2004



Man claims ownership of helicopter on reserve

By LAURENA WENINGER The Okanagan Sunday


PENTICTON -- A man who claims to be the owner of one of two helicopters found on the Penticton Indian reserve earlier this month wants his aircraft back


Hal John Levine of Surrey contacted the band via fax from an Abbotsford lawyer named G. Jack Harris


"The helicopter in question is the smaller, Bell 47J2, which Mr. Levine is convinced was not involved in any criminal wrongdoing," reads the letter dated Nov. 19. "I wish to have this point made perfectly clear, that Mr. Levine has nothing to do with the larger helicopter which press reports indicate was involved in some type of illegal activity, most likely the international transport of drugs. I understand, again only from the press clippings, that the larger helicopter was refitted to provide smuggling capabilities." The two helicopters were found Nov. 11 within 400 metres of each other on band land. The pilot of one approached two native men cutting wood before running away


The RCMP's Integrated Border Enforcement Team is investigating, but Penticton Indian band Chief Stewart Phillip has already suggested drug smuggling is behind the incident


Harris's letter says Levine bought his helicopter in September and had no alterations or modifications made to it to permit smuggling. Levine bought it from Gerald Kearney, at Coastland Helicopters in Richmond, who delivered it to the Vernon airport some time ago. Levine claims he was misled by people who told him they had the band's permission to have the helicopter parked on the reserve for a lesser fee than the $450 per month charged by the Vernon airport


The letter goes on to say: "Mr. Levine wishes to assure you that to his knowledge, his helicopter CFAFK was not involved in any criminal activity and regrets the embarrassment that its placement on your property has caused through the media."


Continued on page A4


Anyone have access to the rest of the story??? (Penticton Herald)

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I worked for a place that had the receiver take the ships due to a lease purchase deal so there was a bit of equity in them despite no lease payments being made for half a year.The owner ended up suing someone for damage as the engine and hull weren't preserved per the manuals....will be interesting to see what happens...

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  • 2 weeks later...

What a tangled story this is.


MY question is:

Were either helicopter reported as stolen? If so, would they still be seized by the RCMP or turned back over to the owner?


I'm just thinking how ticked I'd be if it were my helicopter and I couldn't get it back.


That would just suck.

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