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Five persons detained after suspected drug plane lands in the north

A drug plane landed in Belize in the early hours of yesterday morning in the Orange Walk District.  Police personnel were already on alert and had gotten assistance from their Mexican counterpart. 

A drug plane landed in Belize in the early hours of yesterday morning in the Orange Walk District.  Police personnel were already on alert and had gotten assistance from their Mexican counterpart.  While police found no trace of drugs or illegal items on the Santa Martha Village farm land where the Gulfstream G2 Jet landed, the Police Commisisoner says there are five persons detained and charges against at least two of them are forthcoming.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: Sunday night we received information of a tracking that had left South America and was heading in this region. Based on  the information that we had received we deployed members of the police department as well as the Belize Defence Force as we would normally do to various possible landing sites. We monitored the track throughout the night and sometime around 2am Monday morning we were told that the plane had landed somewhere in the north but we could not have ascertained an exact location because when the plane dropped off the radar we were not able to continue monitoring. None the less the Mexican provided air assets that flew over and subsequently saw the plane in the area of Corozalito and that Newland area and information was quickly relayed to us and we made our way to that location. When the police arrived at the location where the plane had landed they came across the plane which is a jet and the plane was checked , there was no content. Subsequent investigation into the landing of the plane led to the detention of five individuals. Those persons are in police custody as they investigation continues. One of the persons detained is the owner of the farm on which the plan landed, another person is a Mennonite who owns a bulldozer that was also found on the scene and we believe that the bulldozer was used to cart the plane off the road and pushed into some bushes. We also found a tractor with a bush hog that we believe was used to clear the area. A number of lights were found that we believe were used to illuminate the air strip or the place the make shift airstrip for the landing of the plane. We also found power saws that were used to cut down some posts along the road and we found some motorcycles that we believe was used by some of the persons who assisted in the landing of the plane. So those persons are in custody and we believe that by day’s end today or early tomorrow morning we should be able to charge at least two individuals ; that is the owner of the farm and the Menonite who owns the bulldozer both of whom we have received reliable information and evidence to suggest that they were on site when the plan landed so we believe that we’ll be able to make an arrest in this instance. The cargo that came onboard the plane we cannot say what type of cargo but we assume that it is drugs, it was not found, and we believe that it may still be somewhere in the country and so our efforts continue with a view to see if we can locate the cargo.”

According to Police Commissioner they were on the scene within minutes but they were unable to catch the landing before hand since they had to await information from the Mexicans.  Commissioner added that the drugs were reportedly moved in two vehicles and that they were possibly Mexicans involved in the transportation of the drugs.  Love News understands that one of the persons arrested is closely connected with UDP politicians from the Orange Walk District.  According to the Police Commissioner the charge they are looking at is the facilitating the landing of a plane on an unregistered aerodome.  He added, however, that he would want to get sufficient evidence to levy additional charges.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: For some time now we have been fighting against these activities and we through our efforts we have been able to deter many from landing, as a matter of fact this is our first landing in almost four months and it is not for the lack of trying because every night including last night we had tracking coming our way but our efforts have been exceptional in deterring them from landing. Well I would want it to be that we can charge for something drug related and yes scenes of crime and the forensic people went through the plane very meticulously yesterday with a view to see if they’ll be able to detect any sort of drugs in the plane and so we’ll be waiting for the result of that and if the result should return that the plane did have any sort of illegal drugs then most naturally we’ll upgrade the charge.”

As for the owner of the bulldozer, he says he was carrying out a job contracted to him by the Mennonite who was arrested.  The last incident of a suspected narco-plane landing in Belize was in late May when a Hawker Siddeley HS 125 narco jet made a near-crash landing on the road between Chunox and Sarteneja in the Corozal District.