Police Investigating Theft of Plane in Southern Belize
The police continue to investigate the unprecedented theft of a plane in Southern Belize that claimed the lives of two unidentified men. On Monday morning, eight men barged onto the Placencia Municipal Airport, tied up a security guard, and stole an airplane. However, the aircraft clipped a lamppost right after landing and crashed, killing the two South American nationals that were inside. The department has yet to identify the masterminds behind the brazen ordeal but believes locals may be involved. Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa explained that security measures are being improved and said the police continue to probe into several angles.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “As far as I’m aware, the police are investigating that specific angle in terms of any collusion or collaboration that might have taken place with the employees of the particular business. It certainly sends a message that in fact there needs to be greater security at that particular airstrip in Placencia and I’m sure for the other airstrips across the country it’s something that no one expected could ever have happen. Obviously the two foreigners who took carriage of the aircraft were pilots. I don’t know how experienced of pilots they were but certainly we have to be on high alert for something like this and so I’m certain that the airships, civil aviation is taking note and will certainly increase security at our airships across the country.”
Reporter: But they would have….
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “A situation like that is not likely to occur in broad daylight where you have planes flying in and out of the airstrip by certified pilots that work for the airlines. And so this happened at a time when business is not normally conducted in the middle of the night, in the morning, very early hours of the morning at least. And so like I said something like that was not expected but now it is that Civil Aviation, the police like you rightly pointed out will have to look at this situation and to see how it is that we need increased security at these airstrips. I don’t have any information at this very point in the day to deliver in terms of that connection between local colluders, but it is an angle that the police is looking at.”
Authorities believe the aircraft was targeted by an organized crime group for use in the drug trade.