The Tuesday announcement was reminiscent of one in July, when the Strategic Command Operations of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (CEOFANB) made a similar statement.
"Disrupted drug trafficking aircraft with US registration, which illegally entered Venezuelan airspace through the state of Zulia," Reverol said on Twitter. "After detecting the illegal air unit with the radars of the Comprehensive Aerospace Defense Command (#Codai), the #Fanb officials activated all the protocols established in the Control Law for the Comprehensive Defense of Airspace."
Los funcionarios de la #Fanb tras detectar la unidad aérea ilegal con los radares del Comando de Defensa Aeroespacial Integral (#Codai), activaron todos los protocolos establecidos en la Ley de Control para la Defensa Integral del Espacio Aéreo pic.twitter.com/LSB8xraFCx— Néstor Reverol (@NestorLReverol) September 15, 2020
He was referring to a law authorizing the destruction of any suspected cartel plane operating in country's airspace.
“We remain on permanent alert, monitoring our airspace to prevent it from being used for illicit drug trafficking from Colombia, which is the largest producer of cocaine in the world,” the interior minister added.
Another plane with a US registration number was destroyed by fighter jets while intruding into Venezuelan airspace on July 8.
Logrando la inutilización cerca de una pista clandestina, en el municipio Machiques de Perijá. pic.twitter.com/TUFUm1RpG6— Néstor Reverol (@NestorLReverol) September 15, 2020
In 2013, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed a law to shoot down any plane belonging to the narco-mafia that illegally crosses the country's airspace.
The US has over the past years imposed harsh economic sanctions on the oil-rich country to pressure Maduro to step down, forcing millions of Venezuelans to abandon their homeland due to a lack of basic food and necessities.