It’s Richard…Chi-Backli!

Well, I wasn’t expecting that.

And a response from C.J. Chivers, too. Richard Chichakli has shown up in Australia, after eight years in the wind. Weirdly, he applied for a job in an auxiliary but armed security force run by the State of Victoria’s police, which involved a background check. The check threw up a relatively recent Interpol notice on him. I wonder if he was out of money, needed a legal gun, or was deliberately looking for an opportunity to turn himself in?

This implies that as well as flitting from the US with an unsuspected Egyptian passport and his stash of frequent-flyer miles, he pulled something similar to get out of Russia. When his website stopped updating, someone left a comment on it to the effect that he had been found dead on a motorway hard shoulder near Moscow. So, did he fake his own death?

Further, I remember being told by a source that Aerocom was setting up something called “Air Bridge Group” at a remote-ish airfield in Queensland to operate An-12s and similar aircraft with big rear cargo doors into South-East Asia. This never got off the ground, being suspected of having something to do with drug imports, but perhaps Chichakli still had useful contacts in Australia.

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