Utah Plane In Iran Actually Belonged To Ghanaians?

    April 19, 2014
    Toni Matthews-El
    Comments are off for this post.

To put it mildly, the United States and Iran have a rather strained relationship. Economic dealings between the two nations are almost non-existent.

This is why so many people are extremely puzzled over a photograph of a private jet traced to the Bank of Utah at the Mehrabad Airport in Tehran.

It’s not a case of mistaken identity.

In the photograph two things are perfectly clear: The tail number of the plane (distinct to airplanes in the way a social security number is to the average person) and a small American flag.

Conspiracy theories attempting to explain the image are abound. They no doubt increased as the United States government has proven reluctant to share exactly how or why the plane was permitted to travel to Iran.

Meanwhile Iranian government officials seemed far more willing to offer an explanation for the plane’s presence in their country.

The New York Times is reporting that Iran’s Foreign Ministry revealed on Friday that the plane had been used for transporting Ghanaian officials to Tehran.

This is allegedly all part of an effort to strengthen ties between Ghana and Iran, quite possibly economically.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham was also quick to add that both the passengers and crew were “Non-American”.

The reason offered by the Ministry doesn’t explain why an American private jet belonging to trustees at a bank in Utah was used to shuttle high ranking Ghanaian officials to Iran.

The Times was able to get to the bottom of this after accessing a confidential document. The document explained that the plane is held in trust by the Bank of Utah on behalf of the Engineers and Planners company, which is based in Accra, Ghana.

Since Engineers and Planners is the beneficiary of that trust, they are free to use the plane. In fact Ibrahim Mahama, the company’s CEO, is the brother of Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama.

Despite the story being told by Iran checking out, there is still one final matter left unexplained.

Even if the beneficiaries free to use the plane, there are still numerous sanctions to which the Bank of Utah is bound with regard to the plane’s flight to and from Iran.

How they were able to get around these sanctions and allow the beneficiaries to make use of the plane remains a mystery at the moment, though it suggests a possible loophole.

Such a loophole may be why the US government is reluctant to comment on the plane’s trip to Iran.

Image via Makik Makine Ltd., Twitter

  • Christina G.

    Bank of Utah has some ‘splaining to do.

  • doodle

    Just goes to show you the secret worldwide power of the Mormons. They are one of the world’s largest land owners and getting by by always flying under the radar.

  • josh

    Just because a bank is listed as owner it is not always the actual owner. Much like a bank owns title on your car until you pay it off.

    • Taco

      yeah, you are correct Josh. When I worked for a small regional airline in the 90’s most of the aircraft they flew were not owned by the airline, they were owned by various banks or investment firms. (some of them had little plaques in the cockpit telling the name of the bank that owned the aircraft.) Curious as to why the operators of the aircraft would want to fly an aircraft that was flagged as American though, as it is widely known that doing so requires following the many numerous US FAA regulations.

    • jack01

      Does this mean i can not drive my car and take a ferry to Iran because the bank owns it yet?

  • Dan Gregory

    This is a nosy world.

    • jack01

      Dan,You sure can say that again…Very nosy.

  • justanotherb

    These planes are an investment for a bank just like a piece of land or a piece of equipment. What the operator does with them is not the fault of the bank.

  • Guest

    Bank of Utah also supported Mafia in the old days of Las Vegas so this does not surprise me…

  • pessimistically_correct

    Bank of Utah used to also hold titles for loans to mafia owned casinos in Nevada back in the day. This does surprise me in the least.