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Traffickers elude Police, BDF after burned aircraft found near Corazon Creek

Posted: Monday, December 11, 2023. 8:59 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Over the weekend, drug traffickers were once again on the move in Belizean airspace, getting their suspected drug cargo in and out of the Toledo District faster than police and the Belize Defence Force (BDF) could intercept them.

“Over the weekend, on Friday night to be exact, there was a track that came out of South America and upon entering our airspace in the south it disappeared off the radar. Information initially suggested that the plane had landed in Guatemala but we [did not get] confirmation from our Guatemalan counterparts that the plane had landed there. And so just to be sure, the BDF did a flyover on Sunday, and during the flyover, they observed the burnt remains of a plane in the Corazon Creek area, [which] is about four miles from the Belize-Guatemala [Western] border,” Commissioner of Police Chester Williams confirmed today during a press briefing.

A team of police and BDF later went in on foot and confirmed the discovery. The Commissioner said that it has been the trend for the drugs to be smuggled across the land border, but a trip through nearby waterways to the sea could not be ruled out. Authorities had fanned out as per usual across the country to be ready for a landing anywhere in the country (and a team in the Belize River Valley saw their vehicle crashed while doing so), but there was enough personnel to respond – but not enough time to set up for an interception in a heavily forested area to catch the traffickers.

Also complicating matters is possible local cooperation as explained by the Commissioner: “We do believe that some of them are working with these narco-traffickers, and we have a basic idea who is behind these things and we are constantly targeting them.” Just last week, he noted, an airstrip was located in an undisclosed location in Toledo along with fuel canisters and police believe they managed to foil a potential landing attempt – but police have to watch and wait to potentially catch participants in the act.

Commissioner Williams said it was only coincidental that the last two events to do with narco-trafficking – this landing and the attempted theft of a plane from the Maya Island Air office in Placencia a few weeks ago – happened while he was out of the country, as he does keep in communication with those he leaves behind in authority.

 

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