The land on which the Pacific Refinery was to be built, in the El Aromo sector (Manabí), served as a runway for an aircraft alleged to be involved in drug trafficking activities.
Eight people arrested, as well as vehicles and weapons seized, were the result of the operation Aeronave, with which the Police tried early Monday to capture a band of alleged drug traffickers.
The uniformed ones surprised to the traffickers when they guarded the small plane that could leave from the lands where it was going to construct that refinery.
After an armed confrontation, the detainees were taken to investigations. Among the confiscated goods there are about five high-end vehicles, a motorcycle, three rifles (a grenade launcher), explosives, communication radios and “several hundred thousand dollars,” Interior Minister María Paula Romo told in a press conference.
“We presume that it is about commercializing drugs, illicit substances and the plane fled the place,” he explained.
The Police Intervention and Rescue Group (GIR) prevented the leakage of the cars that were on the site.
General Marco Villegas, director of the Police Antinarcotics Unit, indicated that although from 2003 to date, anti-drug operations have registered 19 aircraft in these illicit activities, it is the first time that an illegal flight has been discovered in areas of the El Aromo refinery.
Among the detainees are two security guards from the premises of the failed refinery and two police officers, one on active duty and the other in passive service, dismissed for being involved in a criminal case several years ago.
The minister was accompanied by General Villegas; Patricio Pazmiño, Vice Minister of the Interior, and General Lenín Bolaños, Chief of Staff of the Police.
In Manabí it was known that the detainees were taken to the health subcenter of the Eloy Alfaro parish, where they were taken to undergo medical check-ups before being admitted to a prison room.
Alfonso Vélez, the prosecutor of Manta, said that after this operation several people were arrested, all Ecuadorians.
From the area where the alleged confrontation took place, the police removed cans presumably with fuel, as well as a vehicle that showed traces of having had an accident. (I)