Breaking News
More () »

'We know Ryan is innocent': Idaho-based missionary pilot detained in Mozambique

Mozambique Police detained Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot Ryan Koher in early November on suspicion of aiding insurgents.

NAMPA, Idaho — Annabel Koher can only communicate with her husband, Ryan Koher, through letters. He is currently held in a high-security Mozambique prison, according to Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).

The Mozambique police detained Ryan Koher Nov. 4, according to MAF. He was flying vitamins, over-the-counter medicine, and other supplies to a Mozambique orphanage.

"It seems like it was connected to the location of the flight. It was going up the north where there are insurgents right now there. There have been attacks, but we have been doing work to help the victims of those attacks," Annabel Koher said. "We're not exactly sure where the miscommunication was or the misunderstanding."

The Koher's moved to Mozambique in December 2021 for Ryan's work with MAF. Ryan Koher has been with the organization since 2019.

"Ryan is a gentle giant," MAF Chief People Officer Ruth Harrison said. "We know Ryan is innocent. There is really no reason for him to be held at this point."

Ryan Koher is not charged with any crime at this time. He is strictly facing accusations; however, he is still under Mozambique government custody.

“Ryan Koher did nothing wrong,” MAF President and CEO David Holsten said. “His wife and children deserve to have him back home in time for Christmas, and the organization that serves the orphans in northern Mozambique needs the supplies he was trying to deliver when he was wrongly detained.”

MAF has worked in Mozambique for roughly 25 years, according to Harrison. While in Mozambique, the Koher's assimilated into the culture.

"My three-year-old considers it home," Annabel Koher said. "He asked me if we can go back."

There are risks associated with this job, but the Koher's a facing a unique situation, according to MAF.

"We haven't seen it at all, and honestly, just detainment like this, it's a surprise to us," Harrison said. "[The locals] are as puzzled as we are on this. Cause it doesn't make sense. It is out of character."

Koher's lawyer - provided by MAF partner Ambassador Aviation Ltd. (AAL) - and the United State's Embassy are working to free Ryan Koher.

A spokesperson for Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) confirmed to KTVB his office is actively involved in the process of bringing Ryan Koher back to the United States. The office could not discuss any further details.

Watch more Local News:

See the latest news from around the Treasure Valley and the Gem State in our YouTube playlist:

KTVB is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the KTVB mobile app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Sign up for the Daily 7 newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.

Before You Leave, Check This Out