The demise of seven air crew could affect thousands of flights worldwide, now that they have been found guilty. It all began on Sunday evening when the crew members of flight 69 were stopping off to refuel at Bangkok's airport in Thailand. The men and women were all arrested on suspicion of carrying arms.
The seven members, who call themselves 'The Magnificent Seven' were en route in a Tupolev TU168 cargo jet from North Korea to Belarus, somewhere in Russia. They briefly landed in Bangkok to buy some petrol, get their windscreen cleaned , the air in their tyres topped up and their oil checked - the brief stopover also gave them the opportunity to have a sandwich, a cup of coffee, use the restroom and even have a cigarette.
The pilot, his instructor, the co-pilot, and the engineer were from Kazakhstan. The fork lift truck driver was from Belarus and the two stewardesses were from Georgia.
Before her arrest, one of the stewardesses, Ivana Gregorichova, 26, managed to tell In Seine News, briefly what happened. "It was supposed to be a routine flight, but some man in a white coat who was using a clipboard came to check what we were carrying. He said that he was from the CIA and had been tipped off that we were carrying arms -a matter which we quickly denied. Then a group of soldiers searched the aeroplane with sniffer dogs, x-ray scanners and the most sophisticated thing of all - a fine toothed comb! "
"At first they did not find anything, but when they ordered us to remove our tunics, they found that we were indeed carrying arms - each crew member was carrying two arms and there's no denying it! Please tell my boyfriend Petr in Leningrad that I love him very much and that I might be late coming home!"
'The Magnificent Seven' are currently serving 15 years for carrying arms, but the Russian Embassy is going to appeal against the sentence.