One person arrested after plane makes illegal landing in Belize

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BELMOPAN, Belize, Mar 16, CMC – Police have detained one person after a suspected drug plane was discovered deep in the farmlands of Blue Creek, Orange Walk, north of here, earlier this week.

The authorities said that the twin-engine turboprop, corporate travel and utility aircraft crash landed in an area called “Cuatros Lenguas,” just after midnight on Wednesday and the cargo had been removed and transported across the Rio Hondo River to Mexico.

They said three vehicles were discovered where the plane landed and a man known as an employee of a Mennonite businessman was detained while leaving the remote area and is being questioned.

They believe that the plane originated in Venezuela and is similar to other suspicious aircrafts found in February.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Joseph Myvett, said when the police and members of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) reached the aircraft “it was found to have only two seats, which was the passenger seat and the pilot’s seat.

“The only thing [was] the entire cargo area of the plane was empty, with the exception of the two seats, as previously mentioned.  Upon inspection of the plane, there seem to have been some intention to set the plane on fire as well. The area that was damaged from the plane, I believe that was the same area that they attempted to set on fire,” he added.

The police said that a delivery truck, with the word “Jefe” etched on its engine cover, was also discovered near the aircraft and that four red drums containing a liquid, possibly fuel had been found.

“That is still under investigation, but I am certain upon inspection of the plane that there was some attempt to set it on fire. I know that a search of the area, the police had also observed a white Ford pickup in the river on the Mexican side which seems to have been stuck in the river, on the Mexican side of the Rio Hondo River.”

The police said that one man remains in police custody after being found leaving the area.

“One person was found who is detained that was found coming out of the area prior to the police’s discovery of the aircraft,” Myvet said, adding “traces of blood were found in the pilot’s seat area of the aircraft.

“I believe that upon inspection of the pickup from a distance, the white pickup found on the Mexican side, were also traces of blood that were seen from a distance in the pickup as well,” he added.

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