According to a news report by the Associated Press (A.P.) issued on Tuesday August 18, 2020, a private jet bounded for Venezuela was intercepted at Fort Lauderdale Hwd. International Airport, Miami with a cache of weapons, ammunitions, cash and household items on Saturday August 15, 2020.
The A.P. report stated that two Venezuelan pilots were arrest and charged with smuggling bulk cash and goods from the United States and illegally possessing firearms as aliens. The report further stated that according to a US statement “the Venezuelan –registered Lear Jet listed as its destination the Caribbean Island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
However, Mr. Jared Rine, a Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations is quoted in the Associated Press report in an affidavit supporting the criminal complaint against the persons who were arrested that “one of the defendants said after being arrested that the aircraft’s ultimate destination was Venezuela. Special Agent Rine reportedly said “from my training and experience, I know that pilots have filed flight plans to third party
countries to avoid detection of their ultimate destinations to avoid scrutiny of law enforcement authorities.”
Having being briefed on the matter, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Colin asserted that CARICOM IMPLEMENTATION AGENCY FOR CRIME AND SECURITY (CARICOM IMPACS) confirmed that the aircraft in question was not destined for St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the country name was used only as a decoy.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been a bastion in the fight against illegal drugs. It will continue so to do in collaboration with our local, regional and international partners.