Police in Guyana have detained two foreign nationals after a single-engine plane bearing what appear to be United States registration markings, N5470Z, made an illegal landing at the Mahdia airstrip in Region 8 (Potaro-Siparuni) on Sunday.
Police said bags bearing the marking “King Coca 30” and believed to be cocaine, 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 a Colombian pilot, 42-year-old Rodrigues Estiven and Brazilian co-pilot 24-year Mateus Vinicius Alberto.
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They said the marking, King Coca 30, on eight of the ten bags of cocaine is similar to the King Coca-branded 973 blocks of cocaine that had been seized in South Africa last year aboard a Panama-registered fishing vessel.
The cocaine weighed 639.9 pounds and was discovered in 250 parcels while the 120.45 pounds of marijuana was found in 50 packages on the plane. The police said the street value of the seized cocaine and marijuana is more than GUY484.5 million (One Guyana dollar=US$0.004 cents).
Investigators suspect that the plane might have been traveling from Venezuela when it made the unauthorized landing in Guyana.
The police were also trying to ascertain the intended destination of the plane that landed at the Mahdia airstrip at about 2:20 p.m. on Sunday.
Police said they also found two Global Positioning Service (GPS) devices, one satellite phone, one radio set and two cellular phones.
Media reports said law enforcement authorities also found empty fuel drums on board the aircraft suggesting that a precautionary landing was made to secure additional fuel supplies.
In the past, several abandoned or crashed and burned illegal aircraft have been found in several parts of the interior of Guyana and Suriname.
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