A plane with millions of dollars in cargo was captured over the weekend and similarly in the past with a drug plane on the Southern Highway, a police officer was captured near the landing site. But there is breaking news tonight that is shaking the very foundation of the police department as the investigation is calling for the temporary removal of the Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation, David Chi. Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie has placed Chi on 5 days administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into his possible involvement in the illegal landing of the aircraft. The police constable found heading in the direction of the plane, Norman Anthony has also been suspended from duty by the commissioner. The area has been a well serviced, clandestine airstrip for quite some time. Just this year, in March a Beechcraft 200 Super King Air landed in the Blue Creek area of Orange Walk Town and on August 15, a suspected drug plane crashed 12 miles northwest of Blue Creek Village in the Orange Walk District. That twin engine Beechcraft Baron with the markings B58 was burnt. But those are the planes that the security forces were able to recover without cargo. And though the use of the area for clandestine airstrips have mostly gone unchecked there have been wide speculation of collusion between narco-traffickers and the police. But how did the police get a successful bust over the weekend? On Sunday night at 7 p.m. the police, the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Coastguard were staking out a plane that was reported to be flying over Santa Martha and Carmelita Villages. Love News attended today’s press briefing about how the joint operation unfolded with a cargo worth over 14 million Belize dollars and the detention of a police constable.
Jose Sanchez: “The police were told about an unregistered plane and flight that departed Venezuela to Belize. A joint security forces team zoned in on the plane at 9pm Sunday night and while they travelled to landing site in a remote area of Blue Creek they found a Police constable who they promptly detained. The Minister of National Security flanked by the Coast guard and BDF joined commissioner of Police Allen Whylie who reviewed the successful operation. “
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie: “At about 9:16 PM they came under fire. They consequently returned fire. There was a fire fight for I believe half and hour to 45 minutes but it was obvious that the joint Police BDF came very superior. They were able to overcome a white with blue stripe civil engine Cessna Aircraft was secured. It was found to be loaded with suspected cocaine and also a white pick up truck with Mexican license plate was also secured. That truck has one bail of suspected to be cocaine so obviously they were in the process of unloading. This plane as I said landed in the northern community airstrip which is located in the Tres Labas Area Orange Walk district. We check in the interior of the aircraft and subsequent counting resulted in the discovery of 26 bails plus two parcels of suspected cocaine with a weight of 556.2 kilo. A total of four persons: two Mexicans, two Belizean’s have been detained.”
DCP Chester Williams: “Yes a vehicle did speed off after the gunshots subsided and that vehicle went to the direction of the area that leads into Mexico. The officers were more interested now in securing the aircraft and its content as well as the two persons that were left there and so those two persons were taken to custody and the aircraft secured and we were able to get its content as well. “
Jose Sanchez: “Also on the scene was a navigation map, two empty fuel cans and a motorcycle. The street value for the Cocaine is valued at over $7 million and the celebration moment for the joint team was echoed by the Minister of National Security John Saldivar.”
Honorable John Saldivar: “All we can say at this time is that the changes we have made we believe have led to this great success and we will have to learn from this success. That is our intention.”
DCP Chester Williams: Orange Walk will continue to see and increase in Police activities in those areas to able to deal with the Narco issue as well as the gang issues within Orange Walk so we have been maintaining our heavy presence in Orange Walk.
Voice 1: “When we had that incident in March and the subsequent comments that were passed on Social Media. It would have suggested that there were knowledge of our law enforcement entity being involved in these operations. What we said then is that we had no knowledge of our people being involved.
Jose Sanchez: “That wide speculation of collusion made it necessary to ask the commissioner if he was related to the police constable who was found on his way to the plane. “
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie: “He is no relative of mine contrary to what facebook is saying that he is my brother in law or my cousin he is not my cousin. He is a distant relative of my wife and when I say distant not a first, not a second, not a third cousin but they are from the village and so almost everybody in villages are related but he is no relative of mine. If he was I would not deny and he would still be responsible for his own action. In terms of Police suspected involvement; we have good and we have bad in the Department just like the rest of the society and whilst I cannot say that that constable is involved an investigation has been launched. We must remember that he is presumed to be innocent. He wasn’t found at the air strip. He wasn’t found at the plane. He was found heading toward that general direction; he was spoken to and the team who spoke with him wasn’t satisfied in terms of his response to questions they put to him and so they use their judgment to detain him.”
Jose Sanchez: “but who are the two Belizean’s and the two Mexicans that were found?”
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie: We won’t release that; we have four detained but it would be unfair to those persons. If we do formally arrest and charge then it will be shared.
Jose Sanchez: “As fast as the plane is carted away the police hopes that the destruction of the $7 million dollar cargo will be as quick before it can turn to flour.
DCP Chester Williams: “I am in the process of preparing the charges for those persons who will be charged. After that we will be making our application to the court to have the drugs destroyed hopefully before the end of this week. We do not want to keep it in our custody for too long.“
Jose Sanchez for Love News.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams says that samples of the suspected drug have been tested.