This morning, sometime around eight-thirty, coastguard personnel on routine patrol in the vicinity of Half Moon Caye, within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, came across a substantial quantity of high-grade marijuana.† The tightly concealed packages, amounting to almost thirty-two kilograms, were afloat in an area that is frequented by tourists.† Itís a sizeable haul with a street value of almost eighty-two thousand dollars.† But, was the waterborne cargo destined for Belize or farther south along the Caribbean Sea.† News Five spoke with Lieutenant Commander Alma Pinelo who provided additional details on the seizure.

Lt. Commander Alma Pinelo, Belize Coast Guard

ďA brief patrol conducting their daily routine patrols this morning at around 8:30 in the Half Moon Caye area came across something strange in the water. So prior to actually taking off on their daily routine, they went to inspect it.† It was about a hundred feet off the east of the dock there in Half Moon Caye and upon inspection they realized that there were packs of some suspected drugs and they were able to, because one of them had a hole in it, to identify it as suspected marijuana. Thereafter they called it in and we had one of our standby vessels head to Half Moon to get the commander that was in charge of the patrol and to bring him in order for us to be able to carry out chain of custody procedures and hand it over to A.N.U. to be able to properly weigh them.† They didnít have a scale there with them at Half Moon so we brought it to base not too long ago.† They arrived here about 14:00 and we did the process of weighing each of them.† It ended up being about 30.95 kilos and it was thirty-six packs and an estimated value of eighty-one thousand, seven hundred and five Belize dollars. It was good because it was early in the morning and, you know, Half Moon is very populated with tourists.† So we were able to get that out of there.† It was a good bust for us in terms of when you think about the estimated value and getting that off the street that is definitely a win for us.Ē

Channel 5