Pivot Airlines (ZX, Toronto Pearson) has welcomed back home "Tail 105", the ill-fated CRJ100ER, which was detained in the Dominican Republic for nearly a year after more than 200 kilogrammes of cocaine worth USD25 million was found inside the aircraft.

Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows C-FWWR (msn 7107) returned to Toronto Pearson on January 30, 2023, after it had left Canada on a routine charter on March 31, 2022.

The flight's five crew members returned to Toronto in December 2022 after they were detained for nearly eight months in the Dominican Republic. On departing from Punta Cana on April 5, 2022, they discovered and reported the narcotics stuffed in eight duffel bags in the aircraft's avionics bay. However, they were arrested and imprisoned, allegedly under deplorable conditions, before being kept under house arrest.

"The Canadian media covered the wrongful detainment and human rights abuses perpetrated against our crew while we fought systemic corruption. A sub-note to the story was the illegal retention of our aircraft by the Dominican authorities. Although we were allowed to maintain the aircraft, it remained on the ground until it was ordered returned to us in late November," commented Pivot Airlines Chief Executive Officer Eric Edmondson in a statement on social media. "Since the crew returned home on December 2, our primary Dominican focus turned to the aircraft. Tonight, after a lengthy chess match in the courts, Tail 105 returned home," he said.

However, the Public Prosecutor Office of the Dominican Republic has maintained throughout that it acted within its jurisdiction, with due legal process, and within its legal obligations throughout the detention of the crew and aircraft. "The Public Ministry has acted within the framework of the principles that govern the rule of law, respecting the guarantees of due process, and subjected its actions, as required by law, to the scrutiny of judges before whom those investigated had the opportunity to defend themselves and assert their arguments, as it happens with any person, national or foreign, who faces criminal proceedings in the Dominican Republic," the Prosecutor General said in a statement in response to the criticism.

"Since the investigation did not obtain sufficient evidence to substantiate the accusation and there is no reasonable possibility of incorporating new ones at this time, the case was provisionally archived, and the authorities were requested to [...] annul coercive measures," the statement read.

Giving its side of the backstory, the Public Prosecutor's Office said in light of the illicit trafficking of 209.65 kilogrammes of cocaine, it had a constitutional and legal obligation to immediately arrest the Pivot Airlines crew, "always respecting all their rights and due process, and contacting the corresponding embassy because they were foreign citizens".

The law enforcer denied that the crew were subjected to "preventive detention or house arrest" but claimed they had to post financial bonds, had to present themselves periodically, and were prohibited from leaving the country without judicial authorisation, measures that remained until the conclusion of the investigation.

"Nor should it be ignored that, while the aircraft was in the custody of the Public Prosecutor's Office as a result of a judicial decision of provisional seizure, there was an attempt to take it out of the country without authorisation, using a false flight plan, in an action that can be described as delinquent," the Public Prosecutor's Office said.

The only one of its type in Pivot Airlines' fleet, C-FWRR, is leased from owner Avmax Aircraft Leasing. The airline also operates one DHC-8-100 leased from Central Mountain Air (9M, Smithers), according to the ch-aviation fleets module.