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Apr 21, 2015

$550,000 Siphoned Off from Treasury, Employee Placed on Administrative Leave

Joseph Waight

The embezzlement of over half-a-million dollars from the Treasury Department, an inside job that was unearthed a little over a week ago by officials within the Ministry of Finance, has set off a major investigation into this most recent financial crime.  The scheme involved the misappropriation of two significant sums of monies, presumably by altering the account numbers for the respective deposits.  News of the swindle made headlines last Thursday when Prime Minister Barrow spoke briefly on the matter.  While no one has been detained in relation to the theft, an employee at the office’s Central Bank location has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.  Likewise, the Financial Intelligence Unit has proceeded to freeze the accounts of the individuals to whom the monies were transferred.  This morning, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight went into detail on what seems to have been a well orchestrated plan to pilfer monies from the public purse. 

 

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“Well there are two large payments as I understand and what happened really was that some ingenious person discovered that, substituted, manipulated bank account numbers to take out a bank account number and put in a wrong one and the payment went through.”

 

Reporter

“Has anyone been put on leave or administrative leave as a result?”

 

Joseph Waight

“Yes, we sent one gentleman on leave, yeah.  One gentleman while the investigation is [underway], but I have to say [he’s] innocent until proven guilty.  I don’t want to [falsely accuse anyone.]”

 

Reporter

“Any effect that this may have on, because we understand that it was from the pension fund.”

 

Joseph Waight

“No, that’s not correct.”

 

Reporter

“So can you correct.”

 

Joseph Waight

“It was a transfer to a private sector individual, an education transfer I believe.”

 

Reporter

“But it was drawn from where?  What account?”

 

Joseph Waight

“When the government makes payments it’s drawn from the consolidated fund but it’s not pension money.  It’s too big to be pension money really.  But if a payment was directed to Ms. Marisol but somebody went in there and changed the thing so the payment went to you and you took the money.”

 

Reporter

“So the wider public would not be affected by the missing money…”

 

Joseph Waight

“First of all, it’s taxpayers money, but no there is no… and the individual who supposed to have gotten paid but didn’t get paid, that person lost.  We have to make that up as well, you know.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, have you tracked the person that the money was diverted to?  Has that person spent the money and have they given you a reason why they would spend so much money?”

 

Joseph Waight

“They are also under investigation and I believe that the FIU has frozen some accounts there as well.”

 

As we said, no charges have been brought against the Treasury employee, pending the outcome of an investigation.  

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7 Responses for “$550,000 Siphoned Off from Treasury, Employee Placed on Administrative Leave”

  1. Timber says:

    Correct that, it wasn’t unearthed by the Ministry of Finance, it was unearthed by someone in a bank and I know which bank and I know who the person is. People in the ministry too busy siphoning off Petrocaribe money that we will pay dearly for in the immediate future. Where’s the incompetent Joy Grant and Carla Barnett?

  2. Timber says:

    BTW, where is Barnett now and that bogus Horizon 2030 plan she conjured up to hustle money? It never came to fruition and it died a natural death. She will join any party to save her behind and survive.

  3. Rod says:

    This whole gov is the most corrupt in the history of this nation and yet not one person has been sent to jail it shows the depth of crime which is going unpunished from this pm down every one is stealing it’s a free for all and you duncy belizeans keep voting for them well you deserve what you get.

  4. Concerned Citizen says:

    The question should really be why would a private sector individual be paid so much money as an education transfer?!

  5. Observer says:

    Who’s job is it to monitor these activities? Hummmm!

  6. karla says:

    Facing administrative leave? Why not criminal charges. It is theft not “siphoning.” Call it what it is and take appropriate actions.

  7. Patriot says:

    I would like to know if the person on administrative leave is a scapegoat used to cover the corruption of the UDP?

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