US$1.3 million found at crashed plane site in Ecuador

By Dialogo
May 17, 2012

QUITO, Ecuador — At least US$1.3 million in presumed Mexican drug cartel money has been recovered from the site of a light aircraft crash in western Ecuador that killed the two crew members, officials said.
The cash was found after authorities searched the rural area where the plane had crashed, local police chief Ulises Parreño told reporters May 15, adding that the two crewmembers were identified as Mexican and the plane was Mexico-registered.
Interior Minister José Serrano said the light aircraft was typical of those used in drug trafficking operations, suggesting the money was part of a drug trafficking operation gone wrong.
Officials said the plane was flying at a low altitude with no lights, in an apparent bid to avoid radar detection, on the night of May 13 before crashing into a hill near the town of Pedernales, in the province of Manabí, on the Pacific coast.
[AFP, 16/05/2012; (Ecuador), 16/05/2012]