Police Believe Foreigners Were Involved In The Plans To Steal Aircraft That Crashed, Killing Two

(CMC) – Police Commissioner Chester Williams said the identification documents found on the charred remains of two people onboard a plane that crashed soon after it had been stolen showed they were from Argentina and Venezuela.

“We believe that both persons came in illegally because we had checked with immigration and immigration has confirmed that there were no records to indicate that these two individuals came into the country through our legal port of entry,” Williams said, adding that police have received “certain information” after checking with their Venezuelan counterparts.

Williams said he has put together a team of investigators and “we also have members of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) from the (US) embassy assigned to that investigation and they are working with the DEA counterparts in both Argentina and Venezuela to ascertain the type of activities those two individuals may have been involved in within their respective countries.

“Likewise the Civil Aviation is also a part of that investigation; they are looking to see what may have caused the accident.”

The Cessna Caravan turboprop aircraft was reportedly reportedly stolen by armed thieves in Placencia in southern Belize. But shortly after take-off, the plane clipped a lamp post and crash landed in bushes near mile 21 on Placencia Road.

“Investigation revealed that a security guard who was working at the airstrip was approached by four male persons armed with firearms who tied him up and thereafter he heard the sounds of an aircraft started and then thereafter he heard a loud bang and an explosion,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police, Hilberto Romero, the Regional Commander of the Eastern Division.

Williams says that without a doubt, Belizeans facilitated the theft of the aircraft.

“We still need to ascertain which Belizeans may have been in cahoots with them because certainly they had to have had help locally. And so we are trying to establish which Belizeans may have been in cahoots with them. So the investigation is still ongoing and we are hoping at the conclusion, we will be able to find the answers that we need.”

Williams said that while the security guard had claimed that there were four armed men who accosted him, “surveillance footage from the airstrip (shows), that there may have been as much as eight individuals who went there.

“And yes, they came in both boats and vehicles. Shortly after the plane took off, the boat and the vehicle was seen speeding off from the area. Like I said, we are still trying to ascertain exactly who those persons are and like I said, we believe that they may be Belizeans who are involved with them.

“It could also be that the boat came directly from Honduras or some neighbouring country and went directly to that area to do what they needed to do in terms of the stealing of that aircraft. So those are things we are still looking at to get to the bottom of this investigation.”

Williams said ‘all indications” are that the “plane was being stolen to go and do an illicit run, perhaps from South America to Belize.

“They had extra bottles of fuel in the aircraft which suggests that they were going on a long run. So we will see how that turns out at the end of the investigation,” he added.