General — 14 September 2005 — by Shevon Martin

On arrival at the area, a man who police suspect is connected with the security of the cocaine on the island, was seen fleeing in a boat. They were unable to catch the suspect.

The officials arrived at the area, approximately 1 mile west of the Tobacco Caye Range, where three unoccupied wooden houses were seen on one of the islands.

According to the head of the ADU, ASP Joseph Myvett, beneath one of the houses, a one-story house elevated about 8 feet above ground, the sand looked recently disturbed, and there were two shovels and food items under the house that indicated that the premise was recently occupied.

The area was dug, and bales were observed in the ground. The bales (sacks) were removed and counted, it amounted to 99 bales, which police believed to contain cocaine. Each of the bales contained approximately 20 tightly wrapped black plastic parcels.

The cocaine was transported by boat to Belize City. The operation – unearthing the bales and transporting them to the city – took 6 hours. The substance was processed and weighed at the police station on Racoon Street.

According to police, the total weight of the 99 bales of cocaine was 5,238.183 pounds (2,376 kilograms). Each parcel weighed 1.2 kilograms.

Police suspect that in Belize the street value would be around BZ$30 million, and in the United States of America that amount of cocaine would fetch over US$83 million on the streets. In Florida, 1 kilogram of cocaine presently brings about US$35,000.

Police say that six men, residents of Dangriga and Belize City, are being questioned. These men are frequently seen in the area.

Assistant Superintendent of Police, Crispin Jeffries, told the media that the cocaine will be destroyed by fire or thrown into the sea.

The last huge cocaine bust in Belize was on October 9, 2001. In that catch, the total weight was 3,378 pounds (1,532 kilograms).

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