January 29, 2015 / 6:21 PM / 5 years ago

Aruba says plane followed by Venezuela comes down in its waters

CARACAS (Reuters) - A suspicious civilian plane being pursued by Venezuela’s military has come down in Aruba’s Caribbean waters, the island’s justice minister said on Thursday.

There appeared to be casualties and evidence of drug-trafficking, Arthur Dowers told Reuters by telephone.

“We have been informed this morning that a plane came down in the territorial waters of Aruba,” Dowers said.

“We have seen what looks like human remains ... large packages that looked like drugs. We do have information that indicates this plane was followed by Venezuelan authorities.”

The Venezuelan government, which operates a shootdown policy against suspected drug planes in its territory, had no immediate comment on the incident.

Aruba, a semi-autonomous island that is part of the kingdom of the Netherlands, lies just north of Venezuela which is a major shipment route for Colombian cocaine.

Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and James Dalgleish

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