Last night we told you about the thousand pound cocaine bust that was made in El Salvador – the 48 buckets full of drugs in a refrigerated cargo truck were declared as frozen pineapple and were destined for the Corozal Free Zone in Belize. Well, 7news has confirmed that two companies in the free zone called OXCEL and Grupo Sol have been receiving those shipments for some time. In this case it was a twin shipment, one of the trucks got intercepted in Salvador and the other one arrived in Belize at the Benque Viejo border 11 days ago, on the 21ST July. It's declared cargo was frozen pineapple valued at $65,399 dollars.
But it appears the second truck – which was checked and cleared in Salvador – did have only frozen pineapple, and that's currently now sitting in a container at the Free Zone. The container has been searched by customs and the police K-9 unit and has been found to be clean. The only problem now is that it has been left un-refrigerated for 48 hours and all the once frozen pineapple inside is rotten and has to be discarded. This evening, customs was in the process of seeking authority to dump the contents. BAHA has asked that the company, Grupo Sol dig a hole to bury it.
So, who's responsible for the shipment – who was it heading to? Well, from what we've been able to find out, the companies OXCEL and Grupo Sol are registered in the name of a Lebanese man from Colombia. We could not find out his name and when we called the Chairman of the Corozal Free Zone, David Akierman, incredibly, he claimed that he only knew what had been reported in the Salvadorian Press. He professed no knowledge of which company the drugs were destined for, or who's behind those companies.
However, we have learned that customs and police have tried to find this Colombian Lebanese man – who is known to have occasional residence and a well-connected wife in Belize - and he is nowhere to be found. Our sources say that he could have links to Hezbollah.
7news has also learned that these frozen pineapple shipments have been coming into Belize for some time – and they have been steadily tracked by Belizean authorities. Why? Well, simply because they claim to be destined for Mexico – a country which has no shortage of its own home-grown pineapples – so that pattern threw up a flag. But, in the past, checks were made – and pineapple samples were even sent to CPBL for testing – and they came back negative for any drug traces.
Typically, the shipments would come in from Costa Rica, enter the free zone and be transferred directly to a refrigerated container truck headed for Mexico.