Some of the firearms found on the aircraft.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) police chief, Colin John says the jet intercepted in Miami on Saturday, “fully loaded, from the cockpit back to the lavatory, with cases and boxes of weapons, ammunition and household goods” was not bound for SVG, notwithstanding the flight plan filed with U.S authorities. 

“Having being briefed on the matter, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Colin asserted that CARICOM IMPLEMENTATION AGENCY FOR CRIME AND SECURITY (CARICOM IMPACS) confirmed that the aircraft in question was not destined for St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the country name was used only as a decoy,” the Police Public Relations and Complaint Department said in a press release late Tuesday night. 

“St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been a bastion in the fight against illegal drugs. It will continue so to do in collaboration with our local, regional and international partners,” the statement said.

International media reports are that the private jet was loaded with 82 firearms, including a sniper rifle, plus 63,000 rounds of ammunition.

The firearms included a Barrett .50 calibre sniper rifle and 18 rifles. The cache also included a firearm suppressor, body armour, as well as undeclared cash and endorsed cheques worth over US$20,000.

Two Venezuelan pilots — Luis Alberto Patino and Gregori Mendez — were arrested and charged in connection with the bust and U.S. authorities have seized the plane as well as its cargo.

SVG’s Commissioner of Police Colin John. (iWN file photo)

Kingstown’s police statement noted that the Associated Press had quoted Jared Rine, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, as saying in report in an affidavit supporting the criminal complaint against the pilots that “one of the defendants said after being arrested that the aircraft’s ultimate destination was Venezuela. 

Special Agent Rine reportedly said “from my training and experience, I know that pilots have filed flight plans to third party countries to avoid detection of their ultimate destinations to avoid scrutiny of law enforcement authorities,” the police statement noted. 

The Associated Press said that Venezuelan-registered aircraft and Venezuelan pilots have come under intense scrutiny of late for smuggling gold, cocaine and other goods as the Trump administration has intensified efforts to isolate Maduro’s government, the Associated Press reported.

As part of those efforts, all U.S.-registered aircraft are banned from flying to Venezuela.

16 replies on “SVG flight plan a ‘decoy’ for planeload of guns”

  1. If SVG was listed as an Alternate on the flight plan..of this Venezuela bound Air craft there is nothing wrong with that..thats standard procedures…an Alternate must be filed for all IFR Flight especially international the event they have to land in case of emergencies before reaching their Destination Airport.
    The fact there was Fire Arms on board is also not unusual.they must be properly licence and documented and stored as a controlled item as well ..what would make it Illegal is if they were illegally obtained and prohibited by the ICAO contracting states named in the Flight Plan..and violating trade ban between the Us and Venezuela.
    if they had arrived in SVG and not declared and hidden behind a Diplomatic Pouch that is another matter.
    SVG would now be implemented in an illegal Gun smuggling Scandal …that damages our reputation on the international stage Villanising us in the process.
    We have to be vigilant and read between the lines nothing is as it seems there is always more to it than just what we hear and see.
    We have to control the narrative by shedding light on it all the way not just accepting face Value.
    Lets gather and Develope our own intelegence..not influenced by outside sources..we are quite capable of that are a We not.?
    we must do our own homework…

  2. With the St Vincent and the Grenadines government being so closely connected to the Venezuelan regime, can there ever be any smoke with fire? this much we sure do know, and it is that Venezuela is now not a nice country to be living in.

    And just look at who Maduro’s friends are! Beside Ralph Gonsalves, we have there a collection of the evil and the most bad for sure, but none of the good in attendance! Birds of a feather indeed do flock together for sure! There is not a democratic bone between this bunch.

  3. Hmmm. Saying SVG was a slip of the tongue? God defend us from darkness, ugliness, wickedness, dirtiness and every form of corruption and abominable practice. It’s high time for ULP and this ungodly PM and government to go. They will make life, on all fronts, too terrible for us.

  4. Nathan Jolly Green says:

    What we should remember is SVG is a close ally of Venezuela. A bank in Kingstown was caught laundering money from Maduro to Catalan opposition leader in Spain, after exposing the offshore bank, it pulled out of SVG.

    Peter Binose warned of our new airport at Argyle being funded and used as a terminal and distribution point for the cocaine trade.

    This airplane is said to have landed at Argyle in the middle of the night, many times.

    Are we being used to hide the sanction breaking arms trade to Venezuela?


  5. Why they did not say St Lucia, Grenada or any other cbean countries? Why St Vincent? ” iis it a fact that one is known by the friends they keep?

    1. Nathan Jolly Green says:

      Because Grace we are deeply involved with Maduro and Venezuela, we are one of their closest allies. We are brother members of ALBA along with many others, Cuba.We are under obligations through ALBA to support Venezuela militarily.

  6. Rawlston Pompey says:


    Always heard that people with ‘…Pre-Conceived Ideas’ often ‘…see things and hear things that is already in the mind.’

    From professional knowledge and experience, what is clarified in this news story by
    ‘…Commissioner Colin John,’ is not unusual.

    Not infrequently, people got entangled when they tried to ‘deceive.’

    Even if the Commissioner had no ‘…briefing from CARICOM IMPACS,’ the international news portal
    ‘…Mail Online’ has said it all.

    Not even the writer/Editor suggested anything that might be considered ‘…hanky-panky.’

    Not sure what can ‘…fumigate the Heaven’s’ with this irrefutable headline;

    ‘…US Customs seizes Venezuelan-bound private jet loaded (laden) with….’ ;

    …Pilot confesses that the final destination was Venezuela’ [Mail Online: Wednesday, August 19, 2020].

    Time to free-up minds that might be causing people to believe they are playing a game of ‘…Ring-a-ring-a roses.’

  7. It would be more widely accepted and credible if the headline reads, SVG Police Chief’s explanation a decoy for the jet busted filled with guns, ammunition and illicit supplies, destined for SVG.
    I also wonder for something as serious as this why the COP thinks he is solely responsible for defense. Where is the minister of national security who likes to ‘barge in’ in everything – even trivialities that he has no business with.
    “Ultimate destination” certainly does not indicate that there won’t be intermediary destinations. Because they believe they’re tricking some vincentians, they’ve forgotten it’s not all Vincentians. Many are beyond manipulation and are focussed.

  8. We only trust God ! No man ! The U. S. A far more superior technology and information database system’ than S . V .G what do we here just your words are you serious given this prime Minister socialist ideology and communism beliefs and support we stand with iur Christian brother the U .S .A report no communist or socialist want to give up their power they will go to war or cause a civil war that is their belief !

  9. Observer and Behavioral Scientist. says:

    Sound to me like a classic case of Thesis and Antithesis…The American political bull dog smuggles hundreds of Arms through Columbia to Venezuela, enabling anti Maduro defiance through questionable interference in the political affairs of a sovereign democracy…Criminal entities gain possession of said Arms and resell them throughout the region, introducing high powered rifles like AR-15s to CARICOM member states, including our beloved SVG….the American Bull Dog now intercepts Guns bound for Venezuela that would likely end up killing our youths….they create the problem and provide solutions….lets not forget that America did this!

  10. The questions for us ordinary Vincentians are these, are there ever smoke without fire and was this aircraft ever a welcome visitor to our Island state? moreover, which side of the fight in Venezuela were these guys from?

    Do we Vincentians have all of the facts? The history of imported guns into Jamaica during the nineteen sixties are well documented, so too the proliferation of guns in now crisis ravaged Venezuela.

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