The Strategic Operational Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (Ceofanb) reported on Wednesday that members of the Armed Forces Airspace Defence Command (Codai) neutralized a foreign aircraft with US registration for suspected drug trafficking after the aircraft entered Venezuelan airspace without authorization.
The announcement was made through the military command’s official Twitter account, @ Libertad020, where they reported that at midnight on Tuesday, the entrance of a narco-aircraft registered in the United States was detected.
“Ceofanb reports that @CODAI_FANB, detected at midnight on July 7 the entry of a narco-aircraft with US registration into our airspace and once the protocol was applied, it was neutralized with aircraft from our Military Aviation”, is the message released by the FANB’s strategic command on the social network.
?#ULTIMAHORA|| #CEOFANB informa que el @CODAI_FANB, detectó en la medianoche del #07JUL20 el ingreso de una Narcoaeronave con matrícula #EEUU a nuestro espacio aéreo y una vez aplicado el protocolo de Ley se procedió a su NEUTRALIZACIÓN con aeronaves de nuestra Aviación Militar. pic.twitter.com/6JtCVLj8bo
— @ceofanb (@Libertad020) July 8, 2020
While no details have been provided as to the aircraft’s flight path, where it was brought down, the identity of the pilot(s), or what it was carrying as yet, the registration number of the aircraft is clearly visible in the photo posted on the Command’s social network page – N339AV.
According to Flightradar, the aircraft was a privately-owned Hawker 800 plane. Its latest registered flight route was in Mexico, from the central Toluca state to Cozumel Island in the Caribbean.
In 2013, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed a law authorizing the downing of aircraft that illegally enter Venezuelan airspace.
The Strategic Operational Command of Venezuela’s Armed Forces frequently reiterates its determination to fight against drug trafficking, as expressed in messages published on social networks, such as this: “Our permanent sentinels of the country with maximum discipline and strength, continue to be guarantors of the laws of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in its frontal fight against drug trafficking.” The preceding message was posted following a new seizure of drugs on Tuesday, in the state of Anzoátegui.
At least one other suspected drug plane was detected by the FANB last month and it was also brought down by Venezuela’s Air Force according to media reports.
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