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Insight Crime: “Belize police assisted in hiding drug planes”

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Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2021. 9:46 am CST.

By BBN Staff: There have been constant reports that there may have been corrupt officials facilitating the landings of drug planes in Belize, Insight Crime reports.

Driver of the Commander of the BDF, Brigadier General Steven Ortega was detained along with 2 police officers after they were busted attempting to flee the site where a plane carrying cocaine landed.

The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams had indicated that 9 suspects were detained attempting to flee the illegal landing site.

They were later charged with drug trafficking, after being found with around 70 kilograms of cocaine between them.

During the years 2020 and 2019, there were multiple reports of suspected drug plane landings in Belize.

Oftentimes, authorities in Belize have arrived at illegal landing sites but too late to detain anyone.

Belize has also cooperated with security forces in Mexico to intercept the plane.

The U.S. State Department also classes Belize as a “major transit country for drugs coming from South America.”

In 2018, authorities also detained a police officer and a superintendent for conspiracy to land a plane on an authorized aerodrome and helping to import cocaine into Belize.

Also in 2010, several members of the BDF were also involved in the scandal involving an aircraft found with 2.6 tons of cocaine.

The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report from the US State Department shared how Belize lacks laws to address corruption specifically linked to drugs. It added that the nation currently has no air defense systems, no primary radar capable of monitoring illicit air traffic and no maritime radar.

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