Missionary pilot Ryan Koher remains in custody in Mozambique, 6 weeks after arrest

By Bob Smietana - Posted at Baptist Press:

Published December 9, 2022

(RNS) – When David Holsten first heard that missionary pilot Ryan Koher had been arrested in the city of Inhambane in southern Mozambique in early November, he was concerned but not too worried.

“We thought, oh, he’s going to have to spend the night in jail,” said Holsten, president of Missionary Aviation Fellowship, a Christian ministry that has operated in Mozambique since the late 1990s. “Let’s see what we can do to help him.”

Six weeks later, Koher remains in jail, with no end to his imprisonment in sight.

Government officials have yet to charge the 31-year-old Koher, a pilot for Ambassador Aviation Limited, which partners with MAF, and two South African nationals who were arrested with him. Those officials, say MAF leaders, suspect the three were supporting an Islamic insurgent group in the northern part of the country.

Koher had flown to Inhambane in early November to pick up a load of over-the-counter medications, vitamins and other supplies. The plan was to fly those supplies to orphanages near Montepuez, Mozambique. During a routine security screening, airport officials became suspicious and arrested the three men on Nov. 4, before the cargo could be loaded on the chartered flight.

The supplies and the plane Koher was piloting were seized.

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