Anegada airport
Police have provided few details about their seizure of a plane carrying suspected cocaine on Aug. 19 on Anegada. Above is the island’s airport and runway. (File photo: FREEMAN ROGERS)

Nearly two weeks after seizing an airplane carrying suspected cocaine on Anegada on Aug. 19, police are still refusing to provide details about the incident or to address online reports that suspects escaped.

“Police have actively been conducting investigations on and off of Anegada in this incident; however, there’s no more information at this time,” Police Information Officer Akia Thomas told the Beacon Aug. 28 in response to a request for more information.

Police have been tight-lipped about the incident since it occurred. That night, they released a three-sentence statement announcing the seizure and explaining that it came during a joint operation with United States authorities.

The statement provided no other details except to say that investigations were “active and therefore no other information is available at this time.”

On Aug. 22, Ms. Thomas sent two more sentences in response to a Beacon query, but her message included only one piece of new information: No arrests had been made.

Unanswered questions

Many other questions have been left unanswered.

Police, for instance, haven’t said which US authorities were involved in the operation. They haven’t said the time of the seizure.

They haven’t disclosed the quantity of drugs seized, or the number of suspects involved. They haven’t described the airplane or said where it came from.

They haven’t explained how an airplane carrying cocaine could have been permitted to reach Anegada in the first place.

They haven’t even addressed online reports that police have been searching homes on the sparsely populated island after suspects escaped. Residents have therefore been left in the dark about whether dangerous criminals could be on the loose.

No response

The Beacon’s other attempts to obtain more information about the incident were similarly unsuccessful.

Staff at the Anegada airport declined to comment last week, and BVI Airports Authority Managing Director Kurt Menal didn’t respond to messages.

Ricardo Castrodad — the Puerto Rico public affairs officer for the US Coast Guard, which often partners with Virgin Islands agencies in narcotics operations — said the USCG wasn’t involved in the incident.

Instead, he suggested contacting US Customs and Border Patrol, which directed the Beacon back to VI authorities.