Belize-Registered Aircraft Shot Down in Venezuelan Airspace
Belize made it on the Venezuelan News last night after an aircraft registered in Belize was shot down for an unauthorized occupation in the South America airspace. According to the Venezuelan news story, the Gulfstream aircraft was spotted in the Catatumbo Region in Venezuela that is popular for clandestine drug landings. What is interesting is that the aircraft was legally registered in Belize, and had airworthiness certification up until six days ago when it expired. Love News spoke with the Chief Operations Officer at the Belize Civil Aviation, Nigel Carter, who confirmed that he was the one who signed the extension of the certification, but that once the plane departed Belize for Cozumel, he had no further information on the aircraft.
Nigel Carter,, Chief Operations Officer: “The aircraft in question was previously registered in Belize. We understand from the Mexican authorities that the aircraft departed from Cozumel and disappeared from radar sometime thereafter. The aircraft was registered in Belize. The aircraft held the registration V3 Gulf Romeo Sierra or V3 GRS. The aircraft was a confiscated aircraft that was confiscated by the government of Belize and later purchased from the Government of Belize. It was registered in Belize for the purpose of export and on January 14 the aircraft departed Belize enroute to Cozumel as it was exported to Mexico at that point in time. The aircraft’s authorization expired on January 20th 2024 and thereafter we had no responsibility for that aircraft.”
Reporter: I know you said the aircraft was confiscated. Is it that this aircraft was one of those planes that had landed in the country while transporting drugs?
Nigel Carter,, Chief Operations Officer: “Well, the aircraft was purported to be transporting drugs at some point in time. It was confiscated, yes.”
According to the Venezuelan news report, the aircraft was viewed as suspicious, since it was flying with its identification system off, and without permission to be in that airspace. The news further noted that the plane is suspected of carrying firearms and drugs. Up to news time tonight, the cargo and pilot are nowhere to be found.