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Oct 19, 2016

Belmopan Councilor Released, But Faces Forgery Investigation

Gene Lopez

Gene Lopez, elected to the Belmopan City Council last year, is under suspicion of forgery of a land document using official property of the Council – the stamp and signature of Mayor Khalid Belisle. Detained on Tuesday afternoon, Councillor Lopez has been released while police await an official report from the Council. According to Superintendent Howell Gillett, it has been established that the land in question belongs to someone else, but the investigation is otherwise very much in its infancy.

 

Supt. Howell Gillett, O.C., Belmopan Police Formation

“The investigation is too young at this stage. Just yesterday the Mayor of Belmopan made a report; we need documented proof to substantiate these allegations and that is yet to be forthcoming. Miss Gene Briceño is not in our custody at this time because we need more time to investigate before we reach that point where she will be arrested. But I want to say that it has to come that the Mayor’s office or some representative from the Mayor’s office has to request court action so that we could proceed.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, are you able to share with us the details of the forgery that the mayor is claiming?”

 

Howell Gillett

Supt. Howell Gillett

“There is a land document for a parcel of land here in Belmopan that she might have used—and it is an allegation at this time—she might have used the Mayor’s stamp and forged his signature to make the document valid. But we have found out during the investigation that the land is already held by somebody else so in no way, shape or form the land could be given or sold to a second person.”

 

Reporter

“Is that the only case that is being brought before, the only allegation against Councillor Lopez that is being brought under investigation right now?”

 

Supt. Howell Gillett

 “There are other allegations that were made against her in the past, but in all the cases that were made against her, none of the witnesses wanted the action to go to court.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, in this case, has legal action sought against her?”

 

Supt. Howell Gillett

“Well not at this moment. There are many things that have to be done before we reach to that point. So far, it is only an informal report that was made; there is nothing that we’ve taken down in writing as yet, but I believe that sometime today, we are looking to reach to that point.”

 

Reporter

“Have you been able to question her already or no?”

 

Supt. Howell Gillett

“Yes, as I alluded to earlier, she was in our custody yesterday.”

 

Reporter

“And she is cooperative?”

 

Supt. Howell Gillett

“She cooperating with us.”

 

Councillor Lopez has been relieved of her portfolio and been reported to the Ministry of Local Government.

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