Venezuela seizes U.S.-registered aircraft in anti-drug trafficking operation

  • World
  • Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020

CARACAS, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's armed forces "disabled" a U.S.-registered aircraft used for drug trafficking after it illegally entered Venezuelan airspace from Colombia, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said on Tuesday.

Once Venezuela's Comprehensive Aerospace Defense Command detected "the illegal aircraft by radar," security forces responded, Reverol said via Twitter.

Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) troops located the illegal aircraft near a clandestine runway in the municipality of Machiques de Perija, in northwest Zulia state, which borders on Colombia.

"We remain on permanent alert, monitoring our airspace to prevent it from being used for illicit drug trafficking," Reverol said.

This year alone, 29 aircraft involved in drug trafficking have been seized and more than 22 tons of narcotics confiscated, the FANB said last week.

Since 2012, 231 aircraft used for drug trafficking have been seized, according to data provided at the end of July by the head of Venezuela's National Anti-Drug Office (ONA), Gen. Alberto Matheus.

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