The jet crashed in the Sarteneja area of Corozal about 6 am this Thursday morning. Armed men were seen in the area. Police have allegedly arrested several persons. One resident reported seeing the plane flying low over the village around 6:00 a.m. There are reports that several suspicious persons also seen in the area following the crash. We are being told that a team of law enforcement officers has been deployed to the village to investigate the incident. There are reports that no evidence of any cargo was found on the aircraft.
Reports reaching News Five are that law enforcement officers have been deployed to an area of Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District. According to residents, a plane was seen in the area this morning. Pictures of the scene shows a Hawker Siddley Jet which crashed landed. Sources tell News Five that several persons have been detained. The source also informed our newsroom that at least three vehicles, a motorcycle and a dozen armed men were in the area during the plane landing. A resident of Chunox told News Five that he saw the plane flying low at around six o’clock this morning.
Reports surfaced on social media this morning of an aircraft landing in the north. Our news team set out immediately to see what we could find out at the site as we had gotten reports that cargo remained on the plane and several persons were detained. Following the three hour drive to the rural parts of the Corozal District, the Police Commissioner eluded several media houses and we were unable to get an official comment. Reporter Alisha Valentine explored the area and filed the following report.
Alisha Valentine, Love FM News: A suspected drug plane landed in the north just after six o’clock this morning. Today’s news of a narco plane landing in the country came as a surprise yet it brought a feeling of normalcy for Belize. It’s been ninety one days since the last drug plane came and brought tragedy when four BDF soldiers died during a drug operation on February 27th. Residents in Sarteneja Village Corozal district heard the plane circling their airspace early this morning. Police responded to an area between Xunux and Sarteneja Village and found a Hawker HS125. The aircraft reportedly took a nose dive as shown on several videos and photos circulating. Love News visited the landing site this morning and was able to get a comment form Jose Reyes the chairman of Xunux village who said that this event was out of the ordinary for their quiet settlement.
Jose Reyes, Xunux Village Chairman: “I came by the sea side because we’re working on the boats and they mentioned to me if I heard the plane and I told them no because I had just gotten up. So I asked them if they saw a plane and they saw yes that they saw it like six o’clock in the morning but after like half an hour a person came to our side and they told me that the plane landed by the Sarteneja Road. We don’t see those things we just listen on the radio when they land in other places but now we see it over this side and it feels frightening because we don’t expect to see things like this happening in this place. The police circled the area and I just told the villagers that this if they see something strange we’ll try to tell the police because you know like I mentioned to you narco trafficking and this thing the villagers feel frightened about this thing because that is the plan with that.”
Alisha Valentine, Love FM News: Reports are that several persons who were in the area have been detained and that there may have been cargo left on the plane.
We haven't reported on a drug plane landing in Belize since that famous
one off the Coastal highway on February 27th. But, after that long
break - a drug plane landed in Belize early this morning, around 5:00.
And this one seems to have had a rushed near-crash landing in one of
the northernmost parts of the country.
But it's no triumph for the cops, with the plane's contents having
vanished shortly after touchdown. Cherisse Halsall has the story of how
they're trying to find it.
The plane is a Hawker Siddeley HS 125, similar to two others piled up like
collector's items at the BDF's air wing.
Still, this one is notable as the first to have happened during Belize's
state of emergency - and the first known landing on this particular stretch
of road. And this morning when it touched down between the villages of
Chunox and Sarteneja - in the Corozal District. Police had to scramble to
effect a quick response.
But they were beaten to the location by drug runners likely guided by these
This plane is considerably smaller than the last one found off the coastal
highway. It was found around 6:00 this morning and when villagers came upon
it, the engine was still running suggesting that the pilots bailed in a
hurry. Police and BDF are still in the area conducting searches for a
possible stash house.
Amidst the chaotic morning village chairman, Jose Reyes, who could only
rely on a post-event report from his dock workers.
Jose Reyes - Chairman, Chunox Village
"I was sleeping and I came by the seaside because we are working on the
boats and they mentioned to me If I heard the plane and I told him no
because I just woke up. So I asked them if they saw the plane and they told
me yes they saw it like 6:00 o'clock in the morning but after like half an
hour a person came to our side and they told him to, that the plane landed
over there by the Sarteneja road. I asked them if they saw something
strange or so but they said they didn't see anything strange like cars or
nothing to the village."
"And no notices of no boat engines or..."
"No, no, nothing, nothing."
But if the drugs didn't leave by land or by sea, they'd had to have
remained in the area. That's the theory the cops were operating under.
Police have blocked off the Pueblo Nuevo ferry in order to trap a large
shipment of cocaine that landed this morning. They're hoping that by
locking off this ferry they can limit the routes available to Narcos who
must get their cargo northbound. 00:18
Back at the landing site, we caught the national scenes of the crime team
collecting their samples, in what seems a futile task with no product to be
Nevertheless, the site remained under armed guard.
For the sleepy village of Chunox, only accessible by ferry, or the hour and
a half drive through an Orange Walk backroad, this plane landing was a
truly shocking event.
"According to what I know the plane landed in a field towards the bush.
Well we're not seeing those things quite, we just listen to the radio and
they land in other places but now we see it over this side. Well kinda
frightened because you know we are not expecting to see things like this
happen this place."
And in the aftermath of an unprecedented event in the village's history, we
asked Reyes how he can hope to protect his villagers from underworld events
that may be taking root in their midst.
"The police have circled the area and I just told the villagers if they see
something strange just try to tell the police."
Another plane is said to have landed around the same time across the
border in Mexico. It was found yesterday afternoon in an area of jungle
near the Morocoy community of Chetumal, a large part of it including
it's cabin burnt.
Suspected Masterminds of Drug Plane Landing Arrested
At the crack of dawn this morning, a narco plane was heard circling up north. Around six in the morning, the aircraft crash landed off the Chunox-Sarteneja road in the Corozal District. Police had been monitoring the movements of the narco plane which originated from Venezuela and were ready at another location. But the plane crashed landed at a farm and by the time the police arrived, the cargo had been carted away. The police, however, were able to detain two persons. These two individuals are from Orange Walk and are believed to have planned the illicit landing. A News Five team exclusively captured the police operation on the ground since early this morning. Here is Hipolito Novelo with a report.
Hipolito Novelo, Reporting
Heavily armed law enforcement officers guarded this narco jet- a British aerospace seven hundred aircraft- while forensic experts searched for and collected evidence. With a tail number H720PT, the narco jet crashed landed just before six o’clock this morning on a farm a few yards off the Chunox Sarteneja Road in Corozal.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
“This morning around five-thirty a.m. thereabout, police received information of an aircraft that landed in the area of Sarteneja/Chunox area on a farm or an open space. Based on that police and B.D.F. responded to the location and upon arrival a British aerospace seven hundred aircraft was seen extensively damage on the open space which apparently is a farm land. Police made checks inside and observed that the contents were gone.”
Residents say the jet was flying low and circled twice before the pilot took the risk to land the plane here. The jet’s nose is dipped in a pile of dirt. Its wheels were damaged during the landing. There was no blood inside the plane suggesting that no one may have been injured during the illicit landing.
“Again the area where this aircraft landed is not an area where you would expect and aircraft to land because there is no run per say that is suitable for an aircraft to land. Nonetheless we can see that the pilot too the risk and did in fact land the aircraft within that area so it is a matter that we are dealing with.”
“Do you believe that that area was plan B or C?”
“I would want to think a plan B or plan C; could not be a primary landing area.”
The crew moved quickly, removing the illicit cargo off the plane. They had help from persons on the ground, waiting to transport the drugs. Police later descended in the area. The cargo had disappeared but two men were detained for questioning. Commissioner Williams says that intelligence was received with respect to the drug plane. Its original landing site was being monitored.
“At this time, we have two persons detained. They were not found within the area but the persons we have detained we believe that they are the masterminds behind the landing of the aircraft. So they are in custody and they are currently being interviewed.”
“Can you say if they are Belizeans?”
“Yes they are Belizeans from Orange Walk District.”
“Are they known to police?”
“Yes they are both known to the police.”
“How much drugs would you say could fit in a plane as such?”
“I would say between half and three-quarter ton.”
An operation led by Police Commissioner Chester Williams focused on trying to locate the drugs. News Five accompanied the police convoy. A road to the rear of the crash site was first traversed. A team of officers were left in that area as we made our way to a further location, near the Coast of eastern Belize.
“We have been busy in the area searching as we believe that whatever came on board that aircraft is still in country and may still be within the area. And so we are out in full force with a view to see if we can search and find the content of the aircraft. These are areas we believe that the drugs would traverse in order to get out of Belize.”
Parked along the way was this red pickup truck. Officers searched the vehicle to determine the owner. Two yards away we spotted three sets of foot prints that led into the swamp. In the swamp were three men who were questioned by Special Patrol Unit Commander ASP Marco Vidal.
“Basically it is unfortunate that they have a red vehicle because from our intelligence that we picked up is that one of the vehicles used this morning in the movement of the drugs is a red pickup. But obviously they are out there on legitimate business doing fishing as the case may be. So they were interviewed and released by the police.”
We continued to the sea coast where this house was searched. Nothing was found however the operation continues.
“We are working with our Mexican counterparts as well as the D.E.A. they are part of our operations currently. We are doing our best to see if we can find the contents of the plane.”
Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.
A narco plane also landed overnight in the outskirts of Chetumal, Mexico.
Last night we showed you the plane that made a near-crash landing on the road between Chunox and Sarteneja in the Corozal district.
The event that provoked a rapid, all out response from police and set the commissioner on an all-day manhunt for those responsible. Two men were detained, but the drugs are still unaccounted for.
But, today the COMPOL still claimed victory, saying said that the police presence in the originally intended landing area forced the drug-runners to make an emergency landing on an ill-suited road:
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "The area is not conducive to plane landing is what caused it to some extent damage the wheels, because the entire front axle is broken off and the right wing wheel is also broken along with the right wing. Apparently, it had to take a dive to come to a stop. Police made checks inside and there was no cargo inside the plane, but we believe that it had just landed and so we commence searches of the area with a view to see if we can come across those persons who may be taking away the cargo. The searched last until late night and the results were futile."
"We have two persons in custody and those persons we believe are part and parcel of the mastermind behind the landing of the plane. They are being interviewed with a view to see if any useful information can be obtained from them to try and recover the content of the pain."
Reporter "Those persons were detained in the area?"
Chester Williams "No they are not detained in the area."