Foreigners fined millions, jailed for trafficking drugs, aviation violations
Two men, a Brazilian and Colombian, were fined a total of $493.5 million each and jailed for several years after they illegally landed their plane with millions worth of cocaine and marijuana at the Mahdia airstrip in Region Eight on Sunday last.
Police Headquarters said Mateus Vinicius Pontes Alberto, a 23-year-old Brazilian national, and Rodrigues Canon Dandres Estiven, a 43-year-old Colombian national, were both fined $435.3 million for trafficking 639.9 lbs of cocaine and sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment.
The men were also fined $49.1 million for trafficking 120.45 lbs of marijuana and sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment.
They were also each fined $2 million for operating a civil aircraft without an airworthiness certificate and jailed for one year.
Police said the men are also accused of interfering with the aircraft and operating the aircraft without insurance; they were both fined $5 million for the offences and jailed for one year, respectively.
The aircraft also had misleading aircraft marking and for this, the men were fined $2 million and sentenced to one-year imprisonment.
All the sentences will run concurrently.
The foreign aircraft landed just after 14:00 hours on Sunday when it was intercepted by law enforcement in the area.
The white Cessna skyline single-engine airplane is suspected to have come from Venezuela.
Cellphones and GPS devices belonging to the men were confiscated.