Police officer among those charged in Belize drug bust

By Rumi Samuel Published on December 01, 2021
Police officer among those charged in Belize drug bust

Police are expected to lay charges against several people, including one of their colleagues after a plane laden with drugs was discovered after making an illegal landing here.

Police Commissioner Chester Williams said that the burnt remains of a fuselage were discovered on a dirt road in the Mountain Pine Ridge, a nature reserve in the Cayo District of southern central Belize, on Sunday.

He told reporters that the fuselage was the only sign that a plane had crashed landed there and that by the time law enforcement authorities got to the scene, all the contents had been removed, except for a few pieces of firearms.

Williams said the plane was being tracked ever since it left South America and headed towards Belize.

But, it disappeared off radar detection, and by the time it reappeared, the aircraft was already within Belizean airspace.

He said the Joint Intelligence Operating Centre (JIOC) deployed teams after Mexican law enforcers alerted Belizean authorities in the Pine Ridge area.

“They encountered two vehicles. They were able to stop one, and the other managed to escape. The one that they stopped had three occupants, one of whom is a corporal of police who is assigned as security at the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution) office.”

Williams said that all three had been detained and that investigation also led them to another suspect.

“We also received information of a third person who was involved who was the driver of the vehicle that managed to evade the team that intercepted the other vehicle and that person is a Mennonite who lives in the Spanish Lookout area and also has a farm not too far from where the plane landed. “We were able to detain that person and we found in his sofa over BDZ$12,000 (One Belize dollar=US$0.49 cents) which she could not account for, and also found the vehicle that had escaped the team that tried to intercept it”.

But Williams acknowledged that the vehicle had been found “long after” the cargo had been disposed of.

The arrest of the police officer follows a similar arrest earlier this month when 11 people including four police officers were arraigned on several charges including conspiracy to land a plane at an unlicensed aerodrome.

Commissioner Williams told reporters that he is working to deal with the situation of police officers e involvement in the illegal drug trade and that he also had a word of caution for corrupt police officers who choose to run afoul of the law.

“We do have police officers who are working along with the cartels. We can’t run away from it. What I can assure you is that once they manifest themselves, we are going to cut their necks. I’m not going to waste time.

“Because as a police officer, much more is expected of you and when you venture into these activities, you don’t only embarrass yourself. You embarrass your whole family, the whole nation,” he added.

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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