We usually hear about the Belize Coastguard in search and rescue missions, but the unit also helps to keep the waters safe from illegal activities such as narco-trafficking. During their operations over the past four day holiday weekend, the coastguard managed to nab contraband from Mexico and a vessel that was going equipped to commit a crime. The Operations Officer for the Belize Coast Guard told News Five about the weekend busts.

Lt. Gregory Soberanis, Operations Officer, Belize Coast Guard

Gregory Soberanis

“Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, Captain John Borland has directed that coast guard increases its patrolling efforts in support of crime prevention initiative for Belize City. As a result, we have increased our patrolling units at the marinas in Belize City. We’ve also increased our patrolling efforts in the harbor and river in Belize City as well. And as you may see we have Coast Guard in support of the police at the checkpoint here at miles four and a half. As a result of the initiative taken by the commandant, we have made several busts in Belize City. At the water taxi terminal, we have intercepted some contraband items that were coming from the North and heading to San Pedro and Caye Caulker. This is an initiative in order for us to deter the illegal and illicit activities that are occurring in Belize City. For example Jose, just on Friday while conducting our harbor patrol in the vicinity of between Belcan and Swing Bridge, our patrol intercepted a vessel. The vessel was instructed to stop, [it] did not stop [and] it fled instead. The Coast Guard patrol pursued the vessel. The vessel ran onto the riverbank the vessel where the personnel deserted the vessel and the vessel was seized and confiscated by the Coast Guard. The items found on board this vessel indicated that these guys were up to no good—they were definitely prepared to conduct some illegal activity in that area.”

According to Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis, they recovered several machetes, iron bats, and masks in the boat after the occupants fled the scene.

Channel 5