EUROPE & CIS: UN warning on cargo plane use by smugglers
Traces of cocaine among the remains of a cargo plane recently discovered in West Africa suggest that large aircraft are increasingly being used to smuggle drugs and even weapons to the region, possibly benefiting terrorists, the United NationÃ¢â‚¬™s anti-crime chief said recently. The burned debris of a Boeing cargo plane was discovered in early November […]
December 1, 2009
The burned debris of a Boeing cargo plane was discovered in early November in the Gao region of Mali, said Antonio Maria Costa, head of the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. It is assumed to have landed on a clandestine landing strip and either failed to take off again or was destroyed on purpose, he said, adding that Ã¢â‚¬Å“ample traces of cocaineÃ¢â‚¬Â were found on board.
While the origins of the plane are still unclear, Venezuelan and Colombian air traffic controllers in late October reported Ã¢â‚¬Å“strange behaviorÃ¢â‚¬Â from a Boeing cargo plane that eventually went missing in southwest Venezuela, Costa said. Authorities in Mali, Interpol and the United Nations are investigating, he added.