Theft of a plane in Galapagos was not prevented due to lack of fuel and personnel

Another of the prosecuted police officers had asked that the plane be taken to a safer place. 
Photo: Screenshot

March 25, 2021, 8:34 pm
By: Televistazo

This is the police hangar in Guayaquil where, at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, the plane that disappeared from Galapagos last Monday should arrive. 

We did not have access, but from the outside you can see that there are 5 narco-planes. The police responded that they had no pilots for the transfer, so the plane never made it to Guayaquil.

The case of the plane began on January 8, when it was found abandoned at the Puerto Villamil air terminal. Two months later, one of the prosecuted police officers asked that it be taken to a safer place, because there was a robbery alert. 

The plane has the capacity to transport up to a ton of drugs; it was 12 meters long and 4 meters high. But no one saw or heard anything.  

This robbery led to 5 active duty police officers being arrested for the crime of “tampering with evidence and items of evidence.” But after the hearing, the judge issued substitute measures, including a ban on leaving the country.  

In his statement, one of the prosecuted agents indicates that there is only one uniformed member of the judicial police on Isabela Island, the entity in charge of the custody of evidence. He adds that “the afternoon and night” prior to the robbery “they did not go to see the plane because” they were “out of fuel” and that “this was made known to the provincial chief.”

He also maintains that “since January” [in order] “to go out on patrol” they have had to “fuel the money of the police officers.”

“However, a chain of custody is created and entered, as required by law, and this chain of custody has other responsible parties who are not being prosecuted,” said Harrison Salcedo. He is the lawyer for one of the prosecuted police officers and he notes that the aircraft was not guarded 24 hours a day despite being the main judicial evidence in a drug trafficking case. 

In addition, accessing the air terminal is simple; it does not have an enclosure, for example. 

The prosecuted uniformed officers are free and continue to work. Meanwhile, the police did not want to comment on this issue.

Read the original coverage from Ecuavisa at https://www.ecuavisa.com/articulo/noticias/nacional/697611-falta-combustible-personal-no-se-evito-robo-avioneta-galapagos


Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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