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May 12, 2020

Illegal Airstrips Destroyed in Toledo

Several clandestine airstrips have been identified for destruction in the Toledo District where an operation led by the Belize Defense Force will continue to see these makeshift runways being destroyed in the days ahead.  The coordinated destruction exercise is being carried out by the B.D.F. demolition squad as part of the Ministry of National Security’s broader strategy to address the illicit activities associated with drug plane landings.  As with other parts of the country, sightings, as well as landings of aircrafts laden with cocaine coming from Venezuela, have been recorded in Toledo, particularly near the southernmost area of the Sarstoon River.  On May first, sixteen kilos of cocaine arrived at a Port in the U.K. from Belize. But here on the ground, there seems to have been a lull in such activity over the past few weeks, the last reported drug bust which happened off the Coastal Road near Gales Point Manatee resulted in the seizure of a significant quantity of cocaine flown in from South America.  That executive jet landed on a crude runway in a remote area of the Belize District.  Regrettably, the lives of four B.D.F. airmen were lost in an operation that netted the record haul.  At the time of that operation, the owner of the runway was said to have been out of the country.  Similar runways have also been discovered in other areas of Belize District, including Crooked Tree.

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