By Carlos Camacho in Caracas
The Nicolas Maduro regime reported Sunday afternoon it had destroyed a US-flagged jet plane.
The regime reported the destruction of the N104VV and a clandestine airstrip. There is no word on casualties, survivors, or any cargo visible or reported as impounded. Parts of the plane had been “disabled” to allow it to fly over Venezuela undetected, the Brigadier General that first reported the downing stated.
The paint job in the wreckage and the registration number provided by the ONA match records available on the internet for a plane owned by an Oklahoma City firm.
NEAR THE COLOMBIAN BORDER
A small plane carrying the US flag was shot down by troops attached to the Integral Aerospace Defense Command (Codai), while it was flying through Venezuelan airspace. The aircraft fell on a clandestine runway in the municipality of Catatumbo in the South of Lake Maracaibo, State of Zulia, according to award-winning news site “El Pitazo”.
On Twitter Sunday, November 15, Brigadier General Alberto Matheus Melendez, head of the National Anti-Drug Office (ONA), stated the plane was attacked in the Caño Amarillo sector of the municipality bordering Colombia. The Brigadier informed that the aircraft, with the initials N104VV, had "a US flag and…had been disabled for flying over our airspace without authorization", said the spokesman of the government of Nicolas Maduro for the agency in charge of acting in procedures related to drug seizures in the country.
In his Twitter account, Brigadier General Matheus published several more detailed photographs of the alleged US plane, although the registration is never fully visible in said pictures. In the pictures, the paint job in the burning aircraft seems to match that of a Grumman G-1159 fixed wing multi engine, 22 seats, 2 engines jet plane with the same registration number as provided by regime military and owned by “AVIATION TRUST COMPANY LLC TRUSTE”, an Oklahoma City firm, according to the Flight Aware web page, it was revealed in a cursory web search.
Matheus also said members of the ONA and the National Guard proceeded to disable the unauthorized runway where the US plane was going to land, according to the regime. In a separate posting Matheus said that near the runway the National Guard found "125 containers with airplane gasoline with a capacity of 200 liters each, for a total of 25,000 liters; a truck model Triton, a motorcycle brand Suzuki and flight navigation instruments”. No pictures of the impounded materiel however have been made available.
The ONA, previously an agency that provided addiction and drug-abuse prevention advice, has under Maduro mutated into a mini-DEA, a Venezuelan and Bolivarian version of the vaunted US agency that coordinates with sections of the military such as the National Guard and the Codai to conduct armed drug interdiction.