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#550144 05/14/21 11:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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As details of the suspected narco plane landing becomes available, News Five have been privy to images. Reports are that the plane's cargo was already removed when authorities got on the scene. The plane reportedly landed at 1 a.m. this morning. While the cargo was not found, police did come across a high powered rifle on the scene. Authorities suspect that the plane's cargo is already across the border in Mexican territory.

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Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
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Drug Jet Left Intact In North, Cargo Gone

It's been about three and a half months since the last drug plane landed in Belize - a bust that led to the detention of 9 men and the confiscation of two bales of cocaine.

And tonight, we can tell you that another drug jet landed in the early hours of this morning - this time, though, the narcos were able to hightail it across the border to Mexico with their illicit cargo.

So all police officers found was the pretty jet sitting in the middle of nowhere.

Courtney Menzies went to the site today and has this story.

Courtney Menzies:
Just behind me is a Hawker Siddley 800XP. The jet landed during curfew hours, sometime around 1:00 this morning, here on an existing airstrip in Northern Blue Creek. And while this jet is still intact, its illicit cargo is nowhere to be found. It was likely immediately ferried across the nearby Rio Hondo into Mexico - by waiting teams in place with high speed off road vehicles and boats.

Reports say as many as three dozen men, presumably Mexicans and Belizeans, with equipment are believed to have been at the landing site with machinery and firepower. From here there are multiple quick routes to the river, and across the border.

And inside the jet, all the seats had been cleared out, making room for a cargo that could have been as much as two tonnes according to aviation experts.

The aircraft was not difficult to spot, seeing that it landed right in the middle of the road travelling through the area. And later when police scoured the surroundings, they also found two AK Magazines and one M16 magazine.

When our team arrived on scene, most of the officers had already left. We know that the BDF Defender had been circling the Little Belize area following up on reports that a narco plane had circled that area - but nothing was seen form the air or on the ground.

All they have is this, one more jet, that tonight, is still sitting there in the northern Blue Creek community. It will join the other three intact narco-jets parked at the BDF Airwing in Ladyville. And like the others, it will eventually be put for sale - and can go for as much as $400,000.

The jet will be flown back to the BDF Airwing.

We are told Mexican police responded but were also unable to find anything on their side of the border.

And, after extensive searches were made in the Little Belize area - police concluded that no plane was there.

Channel 7

One of Three Suspected Drug Planes Lands Near Blue Creek

Another suspected drug plane touched down overnight in a remote area of Blue Creek, Orange Walk District. The aircraft was one of three business jets that departed from South America on Thursday night. The flight paths were shared with Belizean authorities and despite the deployment of law enforcement officers to that vicinity, the airplane appeared to have been successfully off-loaded prior to their arrival. The quantity of cargo that was discharged from the aircraft remains unknown. What has been determined from aerial surveillance is that as many as sixty armed individuals approached the plane when it landed near the Mexican border. This morning, Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa provided details on the latest incident.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

"Last night, the police department was notified, as we usually are, by our counterparts that there were three tracks, three suspected airplanes leaving South America, heading in the direction of Central America and, I think, approximately one or two a.m. this morning, it is confirmed that one of those airplanes in the Blue Creek area of the Orange Walk District.� Our officers were deployed into the area, thankfully we got informed from a very concerned citizen in the area who actually assisted us in identifying the exact location of the landing.� So it was based on that intelligence and that information that the police headed to the area.� Unfortunately, by the time they had gotten there the suspected cargo, again this is all speculation, I don't think any airplane comes here empty, the suspected cargo had already been offloaded and we suspect that because of its proximity to the Mexican border that those suspected drugs, again all suspicion, have made their way into Mexico already."

Narcos Offload Drug Plane in Record Time

According to Musa, while police and B.D.F. personnel were dispatched to the area within a half hour of its landing, the heavily armed welcoming committee had wasted no time in clearing the contents of the aircraft. The fact that these airplanes continue to make landfall in certain parts of the country raises suspicion of the involvement of Belizean actors in the illicit activity.�

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

"In terms of the information that we have been getting from the air asset, what it managed to detect was some sixty or so heavily armed individuals offloading.� And so, what we are saying is that basically, we cannot confirm whether those individuals are Belizeans or Mexicans, but again, because it is an air asset, what it was confirming was the presence of these individuals in the area offloading cargo.� And again, we got there, I would say, thirty minutes after the landing, after the suspected or alleged landing. We have to look at all possibilities and all angles.� It has to be a fact that there must be participation from Belizeans at some level.� As you know, in the last instance, in the last plane landing that happened in the Belize River Valley area, we were able to intercept a number of individuals, including police officers and BDF personnel.� And so, there is always the suspicion that we have to make and the assumption that we have to make that there are Belizeans involved in these illicit landings and so I don't want to point fingers at any particular community to say that they are definitely involved.� Like I said, the information that we gathered last night was from a civilian from that particular community notifying the police that a plane was in the area and where it was suspected to have landed.� So it was based on that assistance from a member of the public that the Belize Police Department knew where to go.� But again, I don't want to point fingers but like you're rightly saying, it is highly possible, highly likely that there is involvement from Belizean participants as well."

No Sight of Second Suspected Drug Plane Near Little Belize

Reports of yet another aircraft, this one landing near Little Belize in Corozal District also surfaced this morning. The Belize Defense Force Air Wing provided aerial support but up to midday could not locate the so-called second drug plane.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

"We are getting information that one was seen flying over the area of Little Belize and so what we have is the police department on the ground checking that area, as well as the BDF Air Wing doing a flyover to determine if any aircraft went down in that particular area.� Up to 11:30 this morning, at the time of this interview, I cannot confirm.� We have not gotten confirmation of a landing in Little Belize, but again, based on information we've been getting, there is the possibility that one may have landed but no such confirmation yet."

The Belize Police Department has yet to release official information on this morning's operation.

Channel 5

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Sixty Heavily Armed Men Guarded Suspected Drug Plane

Last week Friday, a suspected drug plane landed in a remote area near Blue Creek, Orange Walk District, but police have been unable to confirm reports of a second landing in Little Belize. B.D.F. air assets were deployed in the community and extensive searches were conducted, yet there were no sightings of a second landing. Today, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams updated the press on the Blue Creek landing.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

"Last week we had a plane that landed in the Tres Leguas area in the Orange Walk District. That is in the Blue Creek Area, beyond Blue Creek. The Tres Leguas area is basically right next to the Belize- Mexico border. Approximately about two miles from there and they are in Mexico. The night in question we were monitoring three tracks that were coming our way from South America. And, sometime around two a.m. we were told the tract had gone into Mexico. Based on that, the teams that were in the area withdrew to some extent. Then a couple minutes later we were told by an individual that a plane went down in the Tres Leguas area. And at the same time the Mexican air asset notified us of the same. We quickly deployed the team to that area. They got within half hour of having received the call. But when they got there they only found the plane and the contents were gone. We did some searches in the area and we followed some tracks. The tracks led directly to a village on the Mexican side. The river was extremely low and so the vehicles crossed over and went into Mexico. We are certain that the contents of the plane went immediately over the Mexican side. Importantly, the Mexican air asset told us that there were sixty heavily armed men who were offloading the plane and providing security for it while it was being offloaded."

Channel 5

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