The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Office of Field Operations (OFO) from the United States intercepted a Venezuelan plane loaded with weapons and cash at the Fort Lauderdale airport, detaining two Venezuelan citizens in the process. The apprehension occurred last Saturday, August 15, according to a report by the US authorities.
The detained Venezuelan citizens were identified as Luis Alberto Patino and Gregori Mendez and were flying the plane for private use.
However, reports from Miami media said that plane was owned until 2016 by FGC, a company owned by Colombian fugitive Alvaro Pulido and Alex Saab, the Colombian financier jailed in Cape Verde since June for his alleged role in money laundering for the Maduro regime. Mendez was a former pilot with the Venezuelan Air Force, according to Miami media reports.
The procedure was the result of research carried out by the US authorities. After the investigations, they were able to find the plane, which was loaded with weapons and cash. The aircraft got headed for St. Vincent, according to the US authorities report, although an AFP note indicates that the final destination was Venezuela.
St. Vincent is close to Chavism since opening a branch office of state oil company PDVSA there. However, the Police Chief from St. Vicent denied that the plane had as destiny the little Caribbean territory.
“The OFO officials seized 18 assault rifles, six shotguns, 58 semi-automatic pistols and $2,618.53 in checks,” the US statement said.