COROZAL, Wed. Oct. 13, 2021– It appears that the pilot of a suspected drug plane for which Belizean law enforcement had been on the lookout late on Thursday night either altered the plane’s route or lost control of the aircraft, which reportedly burst into flames upon landing near Little Belize, Corozal. Local reporters had tried to get more information from authorities about the landing of the plane, but did not receive any updates until today, Wednesday, October 13, when the media was briefed by the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams.
According to Commissioner Williams, the Belize Police Department had received information via the Joint Intelligence Operating Center at about 11:00 on Thursday night that an aircraft was heading towards Belize from South America. Guided by this intel, the Joint Intelligence Operation Center strategically coordinated the deployment of different teams of law enforcement personnel at various locations in the country where a landing of the plane could have likely occurred.
Commissioner Williams pointed out, however, that the distribution of the information did not take place until the plane, which had earlier been seen hovering over San Pedro Town, was “1 hour east of the Corozal District”. As a result the Corozal police did not have sufficient time to mobilize and widely distribute officers across the area. Noting this, Mexican authorities had requested permission to enter Belizean airspace in an attempt to locate the suspected aircraft. This was to no avail, as the plane quickly evaded the radars and could no longer be detected with that equipment, nor could it be located by Mexican air assets that had entered the area to search for it.
The Mexican air asset departed Belize’s airspace around 4:00 on Friday morning after not locating the suspected narco plane. It was not until almost three hours later, around 7:00 on that Friday morning, that Belizean authorities received reports that a burning aircraft was seen in the vicinity of Camp 33, in Little Belize, in the Corozal District.
Police forces quickly mobilized and went to the suspected site, where they found the charred remains of an airplane approximately 20 feet from the main feeder road in Little Belize. According to preliminary reports, the front of the plane was severely damaged, and no cargo could be found on the aircraft nor in the surrounding area, despite an extensive search by police.
Mexican authorities also conducted search operations on their side of the border, but found nothing.