Guyana Police Detain Foreign Nationals, Plane Carrying Cocaine

(CMC) – The Guyana Police Force have detained two foreign nationals after a single-engine plane bearing what appeared to be United States registration markings, N5470Z, carrying cocaine, made an illegal landing at the Mahdia airstrip in the Potaro-Siparuni region of the country on Sunday.

Police said that bags bearing the marking ‘King Coca 30’ were found strapped inside the aircraft.

In a statement late Sunday, the police said the cocaine and some marijuana were being weighed by anti-narcotics police at the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters in the presence of Colombian pilot, 42-year-old Rodrigues Estiven, and Brazilian co-pilot 24-year Mateus Vinicius Alberto.

They said the marking, ‘King Coca 30’, on eight of the 10 bags of cocaine is similar to the King Coca-branded 973 blocks of cocaine that had been seized in South Africa last year from aboard a Panama-registered fishing vessel.

The police were also trying to ascertain the intended destination of the plane that landed at the airstrip at about 2:20 pm.

Along with the seized drugs, the police found two Global Positioning Service (GPS) devices, one satellite phone, one radio set and two cellular phones.

Media reports said that law enforcement authorities also found empty fuel drums on board the aircraft suggesting that a precautionary landing was made to secure additional supplies of fuel.

In the past, several abandoned or crashed and burned illegal aircraft have been found in several parts of the interior of Guyana and Suriname.