A small plane en route from Venezuela with more than a ton of cocaine on board crashed into the Caribbean on Wednesday after being pursued by Colombia’s air force.
That’s about the only point of agreement between authorities in Venezuela and Colombia, both of whom took credit while offering different accounts of how the drug run was foiled.
Video released by Colombia’s air force shows a Hawker 800 aircraft being intercepted by fighter jets after it entered Colombia’s air space around 2:30 a.m. Officials said the pilot then maneuvered in an attempt to escape, but eventually crashed off the coast of Puerto Colombia when one of the plane’s motors failed.
Colombia’s coast guard said the body of the pilot, whose nationality had not released, was found among the wreckage along with 1.2 metric tons of cocaine up packaged in one-kilogram blocks.
Hours later Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino took to national television in his country to dispute key parts of Colombia’s account.