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Nov 16, 2010

Drug Plane lands on highway with million dollars worth of suspected cocaine

Corruption in the ranks of the police, that’s an allegation that has been around from time immemorial but the stench of corruption hit eerily close to home this past Saturday when a sophisticated drug operation was busted in the south. Four police officers, including the driver assigned of the governor general, and a custom officer have been arrested. We’ll have more on the arrests later in the newscast but first, the bust came after a twin engine Beechcraft landed and sat on the Southern Highway for hours last Saturday morning. Later in the day police found in the vicinity, bales of cocaine containing an estimated two point six tons of the drug. If you do the math, at an estimated seventeen point three thousand US dollars per pound, the value of the bust is in the range of a whopping one hundred and forty million Belize dollars, using the US custom valuation. It is still early in the investigation, so the pilot of the plane, the local kingpins and the cartel to which the shipment is linked, have not been revealed.  The plane has been pulled off the highway but sits on the roadside. We begin our coverage of this developing story with a report from News Five Jose Sanchez and Cameraman Christopher Mangar. They captured the spectacle by air with the assistance of an Astrum helicopter piloted by Gustavo Giron Sr. Here’s that report.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Residents in villages on the outskirts of Punta Gorda reported hearing an aircraft flying low over the roofs of their homes close to two o’clock on Saturday morning. That was when the Independence Police Formation received information that a suspected drug plane landed near the Bladen Reserve.  At mile fifty-seven on the Southern Highway, the wings of the white plane stretched across the highway.   The white twin engine aircraft with black and red pinstripes with registration numbers N786B is a Beechcraft Super King Air 200. By five the morning, it was being guarded by police and Belize Defense Force personnel.  Since the road was blocked, a caravan of vehicles began to grow at the north end of the checkpoint.  People left their vehicles and brought out babies as well as cameras to see the fairly large plane just sitting surreal in the middle of the highway. And they had reason to awe because the plane is much larger than those used for domestic flights in the country and it would have also taken a highly skilled pilot to land on the Southern Highway.

While some soldiers combed the ground for clues, the B.D.F. Defender flew overhead and also scoured the terrain for evidence of the cargo.  Eventually, the Defender landed a half mile away along the same stretch of highway at mile fifty-eight.  As you look to the left of the Bladen Nature Reserve Sign you can see the B.D.F. Defender parked on the highway, at the same spot the drug plane made its descent on the highway before coming to a halt a half mile away. A closer inspection of the scene reveals several lights on the highway that were used to identify the end of the plane’s runway, because the road would turn into a curve at a bridge if the plane went any further. The runway lights were made with an Atlas brand car battery which was wired to the left and also to the right of the highway with three lights each attached to two pieces of board.  Two gallon bottles are visible to the rear of the plane and many more were strewn off the highway on the left of the plane.   And a few miles south of the plane, between miles fifty nine and sixty, a cargo truck with flat tires was being guarded by the police. The truck is believed to have carried the fuel to the plane.  The truck had twenty three seventeen gallons plastic containers, three tanks with about five hundred gallons of aviation fuel along with three fuel pumps, and twelve pine logs extracted from the area. Although trees were cut to clear the landing, the plane did receive minor damage when the wings clipped a pine tree, hence the reason why the pilot couldn’t take off.  After three thirty p.m., the plane was towed a half mile away and parked off the highway to allow the flow of traffic which was backed up since early Saturday morning. And after additional searches, at five in the afternoon, near a saw mill, eighty bales of suspected cocaine and seventeen loose packs of the suspected drug found by the police.   Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

The packages had the scorpion stamp, which indicates the drug originated from Colombia.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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92 Responses for “Drug Plane lands on highway with million dollars worth of suspected cocaine”

  1. LG says:

    How present are the ZETAS in Belize? I don’t have a clue! But severe crimes that are occurring in Mexico by Narcos are going to plague Belize if we don’t keep an eye on it. The thing is, how can we keep an eye on things when government officials themselves are assumed to be involved?! http://bit.ly/9T6HrZ

  2. madaras says:

    I TELL YO MEK SLEEPING DOGS SLEEP!!! BOMBO G.G GET IT……TRUST ME THIS RUN YAH INVOLVE THE BIG MEN THEM… G.G IS THIS THE REASON WHY U BEEN ALL QUITE???

    TRUST ME YOU KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON HERE, WE AS BELIZEANS WANT ALL THE ACUSERS TO COME FORWARD AND CLEAR NEH NAMES………

    ALSO BRING UP NEH “USE TO BE” POLICE LIKE TIGA…..WHO NOW LEAVES IN THE SOUTH….INVESTIGATE THIS MAN……

    THIS PLACE DI TURN INTO “RAMBO TOWN”… FOR THOSE WHO REMEMBER THAT……..

  3. DI ANSA says:

    First off, I just want to say, we need to stop saying it’s the Government. Belize blames every Government, everytime. Is that really the answer? NO. Outside help is needed. Remember Jamaica? If you guys recall your history, we are on that path. That is not a good thing. Belizeans abroad would love to go home. Home doesn’t make it look good to go home. We just need to grow some balls. We see crap, report it. The Police Department I’ve always felt, is filled with useless managers. We need to get qualified prosecution. Our Police force is a joke. This entire crime situation is really pissing me off. I will stop at this point. GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE ANSWER. THE LAST ONE WAS NO BETTER.

    UNITY!!!

  4. madaras says:

    LETS GO WITH DEAN…….

  5. 2 cents says:

    Salsita says:
    “We don’t know for sure if the G.G. driver is involve yes he was at the scene with several other police men but that still does not make him guilty”. ( u just give Dicky his defense) none of these fine upstanding citizen are guilty wrong place,wrong time, the men were feeling hot so they took a swim in all their clothes, in fact its not even drugs in those parcel……. I wonder if maybe the street thugs knew that plane was to land n that’s the reason y ghetto fab got killed…………. careful Belize somebody called us baby Colombia a while back , already d shootings have started whose next?????????????

  6. Sasha says:

    For the time being, good reporting Channel 5. It doesn’t matter how much more money officials are paid they will still find ways for CORRUPTION, BECAUSE MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVILS. These people don’t care if they put the rest of the country in harms way, all they think is MONEY. REMEMBER, WHEN YOU DIE YOU CAN’T SPEND IT. BIG BROTHER ( AMERICA)WILL BEING WATCHING OVER YOU LIKE A HAWK ON DEAD MEAT.

  7. more says:

    deh people ina belize very stupid. i would recommend dat neh watch “EL CARTEL DE LOS SAPOS”, or “LAS MUNECAS DE LA MAFIA”
    soh dat wen neh put on neh next move neh be successful.

  8. belizeanpride says:

    i think the pm went to visit mexico for ideas how to run a country with drugs trafficking but never got the sense totally and see his fellows doing mistakes now. Look like our gov. needs to step down, the trust in the pm and all his wanna be’s ministers are a joke and the others below them also. jeez what shame to our lovely jewel. oh, but the monies for the hurricane victims was flown to the south but we never knew the ideas they had. come on pm next time let us know so we don’t get surprised like this time.

  9. Struggling Middle Class says:

    Good job calling out the “Z” Guinea Grass Observer. Too many people in Belize scared to call those vile creatures in our country, and we are rightfully cowardly because the higher ups will always be on their side.

    It is time for a revolution! Too many of our poor and middle class people becoming victims of violence at the expense of these crooked people in Belizean elite society!!!

    Keep on top of this Channel 5!!!!!! The DRUG TRADE is the root of our problems!!!!

  10. Struggling Middle Class says:

    Channel 5, keep on top of this. As long as we keep a bright, bright light shining on this story, we just might prevent family members of those caught from being killed.Jon Doe is right. Drug Lords won’t let these mistakes slide ….

  11. Bambo says:

    Global Perspective. You are an idiot!!! Many people were standing up against the PUP administration. DO you have amnesia??? Can’t stand it when you people forget all the nonsense that happened under that regime!!!!

  12. BELIZEANGYPSY says:

    AN INCIDENT LIKE THIS WILL FOR SURE BRING IN THE F.B.I.AND D.E.A. OF THE U.S.A. FIRST OF ALL BELIZE IS ONLY THE FIRST DROPPING POINT FOR THE DRUGS COMING IN AND MORE THAN LIKELY ITS DESTINATION WAS EITHER THE UNITED STATED OR EUROPE, IF ITS WAS DESTINED FOR THE U.S.A. WITHOUT A DOUBT THE U.S.A. WILL BE INVOLVED IN A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION , LETS HOPE FOR OUR COUNTRY SAKE NO HIGH-RANKING PERSON IS INVOLVED. PEOPLE THE MAJORITY OF US THAT BLOGS ARE NOT GREAT FAN OF THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION BUT LETS BE PATIENT AND SEE HOW THIS ONE WILL WORK ITSELF OUT, I PERSONALLY HAVE CONTACTED THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AND RUETER TO LET THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT THIS INCIDENT THAT IT MIGHT GET WORLDWIDE ATTENTION. BELIZE NEEDS A CLEAN UP AND WE DO NEED UNBIAS HELP.

  13. spar says:

    The reality of the situation without pointing fingers anywhere is that some ppl in here wish that they were apart of this get rich quick operation. Thats the truth….

    As for the men detained…as much as we kno they were involved in the operation we kno that they will get off..i c no concrete evidence against them…come on they were found 20miles away from the scene….and the battery along with the rest of the items found in the vechile with them in no way shows guilt….

    I dont like wat has occured and completely disdain the thought of a plane landed in belize filled with cocaine….but the reality is that the judicial system is weak and no longer to we believe in due process and legitimate expectation

    this entire situation seems cynical

  14. Kareem Al-Shabazz Myvett says:

    There is a paygon star on 1 of the packages seemz the Illuminatii (Shadow Gov wanting a 1 world Gov) is behind this…………They are the real rich people of this world 13 families to be exact. Hence the reason they are capable of such an opperation. Distributing products of distruction (Wake up & live people)

  15. Struggling Middle Class says:

    People!!!!
    This madara$$ has been going on in Belize since the 1980s through ever single administration since. Interesting correlation… same time gang violence erupted.
    This is just one of the many, many similar incidents that happened to be exposed to the media. Talk to residents of the South and you’ll hear plenty stories about when so and so was caught with so much cocaine or when so and so had to do a run for so and so, etc.

    Let’s not look at administrations involved but key figures. Individuals. People who have the power to juggle the cajones of both the UDP and the PUP in their hands.

  16. DJIL says:

    LAST WEEK I ASK THE QUESTION ; WHERE IS THE GOVERNOR GENERAL????????

  17. Earl Grey says:

    and………………THE DPP IS IN CHARGE OF THE CASE……………..lol, LOL

  18. roska says:

    “The Government of a country is representative of its people” – Good Governace Watch

    When we as Belizeans become more educated and mature in our thinking THEN we will have a good government!!!!….. and police officers, and …….????

    THEN corruption will decrease……..

  19. rod says:

    this is only one that we have caught their have been many many more am sure but this will continue as long as this gov. is in power biggest bust in belizean history and where is the pm where is his big mouth and the gg where is he why is he not speaking out about his driver being involved could it be the driver was only doing the bidding of his master . why are they both so silent and the pilot is an american they are the only ones who like to drink red bull.

  20. Global Perspective says:

    Bambo:
    I am not sure what your complaint is about but I think you’ll find it takes one to know one? Name call if makes you feel better but I am beyond that kind of character and not about to lower my standards to indulge you or anyone else.

    I think you will find that in a democracy one of the things we take for granted is the freedom of expression including the freedom to say as I please. So while we still have that freedom I will allow you to be abusive.

  21. jason says:

    have you realized all this is happening with planes since doug singh has become the minister of national security he and his bro mike have many airline connections we have not forgotten the money laundering incidence in costa rica ?? i hope there is proper investigation as the two brothers are corrupt as hell

  22. cali says:

    That was a good haul. But more need to be done. The key here is “intelligence” we need more better train officers with more modern equipment, to combat this plague that is hampering our country. We need the government to invest in these kind of equipments, from all that money they got from selling visas to the Asians and Sri Lankan national. Put the money to good and help the people of Belize. The government can at lest can invest in a helicopter or two instead of taking unnecessary trip to other countries and don’t accomplish anything.

  23. Indy says:

    Alright we got these guys now…lets squeeze the S*** out of them so they can tell us who else is behind this. I am very sure that more people is behind this, big people.

  24. big bad dog.. says:

    everyone want to get rich,dont hate d guys fu try get de..if de mi cutt in anybody de mi wa tek d offer..i proud a d policeman de,unu wa walk free off this cause de nu catch unu pan d act..no problem..a tek my hat off to u roaches…

  25. Valerie says:

    WHAT THE HELL! WE DONE DID IT NOW, THIS IS PAST NONSENSE. MR. PRIME MINISTER, WEH PAH YO DEH?

  26. D-Power says:

    I laughed masking my sadness to whats happening in this beautiful country and to my lovely people. You know whats going to happen regarding this plane landing on the road supposedly containing a cargo of cocaine…NOTHING.

  27. Feliz says:

    Belize like other countries cannot afford to leave this crisis unattended.

    So much needs to be investigated. Maybe we need to get the support of DEA to crack down on those persons in Belize that are leading this type of illegal activity.

    Where did these people source aviation fuel? so many signs of evidence. We need the expert support and assistance here to get to the people who are the leaders not just the field people.

  28. Luclin says:

    The scorpion logo belongs to the CALI-CARTEL in southern Columbia…..early this year a ship was searched and found with bails and bails of cocaine with the same logo……will these bails turn out to be FLOUR too???

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-10359415-247.html

    http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-cocaine-trail-pictures

  29. Police says:

    the policeman deh who mi deh inna the van i respect of the plane which landed on the southern highway are from all different branches in the police department according to the release.Inquiry minds would want to know if these officers were hand pick to send on this special operation by someone in authority

  30. armin says:

    To all belizeans,
    The country I live is worst than Belize, this is not the first and this will not be the last scene. The richer will get richer and the poor will continue living poor. To stop corruption, it has to begin at home and the good education we get. Belize is small country, salary is low, poverty is everywhere but we still spend our few dollars across the border. The government, defense force and we belizeans are involve in all this corruption.
    We all know where they sell drugs and who are the big fish and yet we point our finger at government because people who work for them were involve. In every district we know who are involve in drug traffic and we keep quite. We love to see luxury and we want to have things we never had but corruption is not the way to achieve something. Yes it takes long to get what we want with our low salary but we live happy. Do you think that the people who ordered this drug from south america is not worried, he has a debt to pay for all those kilos he asked and trust me that he will find someone to pay for that wrong move.
    We need better trainning from countries that 1st world countries, we need to stop hiring un experience people (because they are red or blue) we get a job. Lets hire people with education and people that have experience. This drug war will not end but if we know who are involve, it is time to talk and make a change.

  31. Magnet says:

    Where is the D.E.A and CNN? Greedy choke puppy..lol nohtru minista vega

  32. Elgin Martinez says:

    Mr Barrow Ratings just went up for been one of the most corrupted PM in the world.Maybe he should have been extradited to the US with the Guatemalan drug dealer.

  33. RedBwai says:

    If the police and customs are in on it hmmm…wat makes you think that the government ministers aren’t in on it too??…I already hearing Ralph’s name being called with regards to drugs….corruption at the highest levels i say…….this government stinks of it!!.

  34. Just saying says:

    I hope the Cali-Cartel or who so ever own the drugs send hit men to get rid of the crooked cops and associates. They should have known that getting involved with these illicit activities has a consequence. Let me refresh your minds: “remember the group of fishermen who went missing”? Don’t be surprised if something like this happens again. We all need to stop blaming government and start blaming ourselves. I think rooting this problem has to start from home. If these criminals don’t respect people then more than likely they don’t respect their parents. Looking forward to the court verdict and also the street verdict. Peace Out!!!

  35. belizean woman says:

    I call upon everyone to keenly observe this,WATCH how these guys will not loose their jobs.This will prove that they are working for the present government .Again watch if they are represented by RALPH FONSECA LAWYERS.This will mean that Fonseca is supporting them.He did not want to support Hertula brothers because he did not want to have no trail,LIKE SAYING HE DOES NOT KNOW THEM. Both parties (PUP nor UDP) you cannot trust them.THEY ARE DESTROYING THE COUNTRY and have the public officers working their butts off,not raising their pay/salary.
    Imagine with the little resources Belize has,Belize is still surviving econoically because of drugs money,but again put the money to good use.It is time for Belize to have 3-4 Universities ,there are a lot of people with Masters degree who can teach at a University.It is time to build free ways,train railroads,widen the humminhbird and westernhighways. Get the guys off the street corners by putting them to work .Have them work in the day and go to school in the night .Encourage women to own their businesses while not taxing them too hard .It is time for huge development in the country.
    When a man have all he needs at home and even more he will not go to steal nor rob anyone.When a man has work to do ,after work he needs his rest he will go home and rest ,you won”t find him on the street. AN IDLE MIND IS THE DEVIL WORKSHOP.
    BELIZEANS WAKE UP AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE EVIL GOING ON IN THE COUNTRY.
    That is why when hurricane strike a country is because Mother Nature is punishing that country ,It is full of evil.

  36. David.E.A. Jenkins says:

    Everyone is silent on the fact that this is an American DRUG plane, why is that?

  37. Global Perspective says:

    Armin: Top class, well said. Belize is an easy target because of the attitude of the people to drug traffickers in their midst. They are given a few pennies and they are happy to sell their souls. I agree that the government should be seeking help from abroad. If I was in the PM position I would be speaking to the US for assistance from the DEA and asking for military assistance from the Airforce and Navy to protect our skies, and shores. Leave the BDF and police to the streets, and if we managed to block drugs coming in then the police and BDF will deal with domestic problems and crimes should be cut dramatically.

    When the British were present in Belize we didn’t have these brazen acts of landing on the high way etc. I am sure your are right when you say the that person who was responsible for this import is afraid. Quite frankly I hope he or she is found by the Cartel exporters and dealt with. We don’t need these people in our midst. Like you I agree that the Belizeans are quite ignorant to the fact there are many nations worst than Belize, like you I have lived in many places where crime is incredibly high and I recall getting home from work in the evenings conscious that I need to have my keys in my hands to get in the house but also checking my home as I enter to make sure nothing seem untoward so I could make a quick escape if needed. I know it is the way of the world but its intensified here by the mere fact that Belize is so small and where we were once so neighbourly, we are a bit more cautious now.

    It is nice to read a blog which is impartial and not politically motivated as this is rare in Belize. I get frustrated by the lack of critical thinking and pure garbage. It also reminds me why we are in this current situation. For years we have allowed too many people in the country, our people are poorly educated and I don’t mean gone to university but lack general knowledge and so they have been used as political pawns and exploited by both political parties. You only have to look at the comments here today to see the attitudes of the people. I feel frustrated and a lone voice because its not about red and blue but its about criminals who infiltrate these parties for their personal greed. Belize is at a crossroad and Mr PM needs support. I look forward to the response from the opposition in the coming days over this matter. I would expect a statement from them stating that they deplore this bold act, that this country have no room for drug trafficking, that we will support the PM in the investigation, etc this would tell me its about the interest of Belize. Instead we have the gloating which each side do very well. I guess it takes maturity and sincerity to do this.

  38. BZNinCALI says:

    Great response GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. Sabuski, most of their money is in the Lebanese & UAE banks, they are more secretive than the Swiss.

    About the GG: This was not his child or his best friend, this was someone who worked for him & we cannot assume that he knew what this man was doing. I cannot imagine after a lifetime of service to the country & living within his means which is not a heck of a lot on two teachers salaries, that at his age he is now willing to compromise his principles.

    We are asking for the FBI & DEA to intervene even as we give credence to the denial & the BS spin former Compol Zetina tried to put on the accusations against Fonseca & Musa last week.

    This may be happening on this administration’s watch but we need to go back into the archives & look at where the previous administration placed certain ambassadors & then ask ourselves why we are pretending to be surprised at the level of corruption.

    Please do not ask Belizeans to pick up arms against our Government, it is irresponsible, we do not have anyone any of us trust to lead the country & we do not want to become Somalia. At times, we may seem lawless but as inefficient as we may be, we still have a justice system. We need to put down the weed & alcohol & regain our long & short term memory & some critical thinking skills. We need to stop respecting the space of “dey big people wid money”. Someone asked why the southern highway? Did we forget there is a family down there who has been in the middle of the drug trade & every other money making venture including prime land acquisitions for years, when they were caught red handed years ago, no one went to jail & it went away, very quietly.

  39. Jah says:

    Please destroyed these drugs before those senior officers at Belmopan who are also crooked get a hand on it, please destroy all of them before HENDERSON get a hand on one of them because he is corrupted as hell, please, please……

  40. educated ghetto youth says:

    hey people I know everyone is condeming the crime and all the crooked people,but let’s be real!!!!! does being good feeds you and ur seven children?? NO so if people have 2 sell their soul 2 obtain some kind of finances then so be it..I hate crime but I also hate punishing in life and watching everyone who is poor suffer too. So I seh don’t blame the little people 4 trying 2 survive because be real a lot of you aren’t rich but you don’t have 2 worry about what you ‘ll eat?? and that’s way u can talk and blame people

  41. www.youtube.com/jesodist says:

    Dean Barrow Hides Like A Scared !@#$% The Zeta Mafia Will Hunt Down And Kill Anyone Who Gets in Their Way. My Friend’s Brother Got killed Over 2 Packs Of Cocaine A Few Years Back By This Same Squad Who Hunted Him Down Like A !@#$%^ Animal. His Death Was Tragic Body Dismembered In pieces Floating Chunks Of His body On The Sea. No One Will Stop The Zeta Mafia They Control Most Of Mexico Right Now And Are The Most Dangerous With Connections All Over The World. Britch Or American Military Has To Come And Protect belize Now. We Are Vulnerable As !@#$. These !@#$%^& People That Got Charged For Landing Have Already Walked Out Free The People Just Dont Know It. The Government is Riddled With Secrets That Only The Masonic Lodge Know And Control…666

  42. XXX says:

    Stp blame officials! Drugs is money! And money makes the world spin! Sue we if we hustlaz n jus tryin’ to make it! No watch we! Watch yoself!

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