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Mar 24, 2015

Police Called in to Investigate Land Fraud

Wilbert Vallejos

At least twelve instances of land fraud have been discovered, going as far back as 2012. Land scammers are apparently focusing on three areas so far, including Consejo, Commerce Bight and Placencia. Those being targeted are primarily absentee landowners, who are in real danger of returning to Belize to find they no longer own a piece of the Jewel. Vallejos believes that the same persons perpetrating that scam are responsible for another land scam, also recently discovered.

 

Wilbert Vallejos, Commission of Lands

“The other situation had to do with fraudulent land titles being issued by somebody outside to somebody outside – like outsiders doing land business on their own and being responsible for the process and even the preparation of the land title. But as the new landowner – any new landowner would want to go to the Lands Department and immediately pay their land tax. As a matter of fact land tax is now due…the first of April is very close so people want to pay their arrears and ensure that they don’t have any arrears with the Government of Belize. And when they were referred to the cashier or to the debt management section, they couldn’t find any account for that person, so at that moment in time the persons were referred to the Land Registry for them to verify why the account hadn’t been opened yet, but from the very onset when the officers first received the documents they were very suspicious of the document. The document, although it looked very similar to an official, authentic land title, because of the seal – the signature obviously looked different…the whole appearance, the wording, the font and everything were very suspicious, but only the Registry could verify if in fact it was an authentic document. But when it was brought to the attention of the Registrar it was discovered that in fact it was a fraudulent document for many reasons, the main one is that we have no record of that land ever being leased or sold by the Government of Belize to anybody, much less the preparation of a land title.”

 

That was enough to cause the Ministry to sound the alarm, which it did last week in separate press releases. According to Vallejos, there is no proof of any internal collusion, and the Police have been brought in to conduct a full investigation. 

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2 Responses for “Police Called in to Investigate Land Fraud”

  1. Spike says:

    I hope the police investigate Bradley Rinehart and Ysenia Valdez.

  2. Hatari says:

    “According to Vallejos, there is no proof of any internal collusion, and the Police have been brought in to conduct a full investigation.” Let me get this right . . . no collusion in the Lands Dept and the police will conduct a full investigation . . . Now that is laughable!

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