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BELIZE-DRUGS-Police seize aircraft, and hundreds of parcels of cocaine.

Police say they have confiscated 1, 210 parcels of cocaine on board an aircraft that had landed at an illegal airstrip off the Coastal Road, south of here, in the early hours of Monday.

Police said that six people, including four from Honduras and one each from Mexico and Ecuador, have been held as a result of the operation. The street value of the drugs was not disclosed.

The authorities said they had received prior information that the King Air 12 engine aircraft had taken off from Venezuela and had deployed officers to several of the illegal and legal aerodromes.

They said the plane was allowed to land and officers waited for other key players to appear.

'During the day we received intelligence of a tracked leaving Venezuela. As we would normally do, we mobilized members of the security forces and deployed as different aerodrome, both legal and illegal with the hope that the plane would land,' said Police Commissioner, Chester Williams.

He said the police had observed the aircraft landing on an illegal aerodrome off the Coastal Road. 'The security forces who were in the area remained in place and allowed the plane to land properly before making a move. When the plane landed properly and the pilot had turned off the engine. Two vehicles approached the plane with men on board. These men we believe were the ones who were tasked to unload the cargo from the plane. While they were unloading the cargo, the security forces made a move towards them,' Williams said.

He said during the operation, the police became involved in a gun battle with the drug smugglers, resulting in two of the traffickers being injured.

'They were all apprehended. The injured were immediately rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment while other officers remain at the location waiting the processing of the scene. ' The plane was processed. The cargo was unloaded and it totalled forty one bails. They were taken to Belize City where the actual processing will be taken place with the forensic personnel and the counting. The counting yielded 1, 210 parcels.'

Williams said that shortly after the security forces departed the location of the plane, information was received that a third person was in the bushes with gunshot injuries.

'The security forces went to make checks and they found the said third person with pellet wounds to the abdomen. According him, he was shot by one of his own colleague who had also escaped. He was rushed to KHMH where contrary to the reporting the media, he was admitted in a stable condition,' Williams added.

Williams said that no money was recovered from the operations, but the two vehicles, one with a Honduran license plate and the other with license plate, had been seized.

'From what we know these people came into the country days ago and they might have been their own canvassing and might have had knowledge of the area so.'

Williams said they had also received another report of a plane but that it faded into Mexican airspace and did not land in Belize.

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Publication:CANA News
Date:Sep 10, 2019
Words:579
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