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Dec 12, 2016

Benque Cop Caught Trying to Bring in Undocumented Salvadorans

A Benque Viejo police officer is detained after he was busted with eight undocumented Salvador nationals. Around nine fifteen on Saturday night, police spotted a vehicle without a license plate and when they intercepted the vehicle they discovered on of their own, twenty three year old Police Constable Edif Sierra, at the wheels of the vehicle. A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of two thousand US dollars and several suitcases of clothing. Police said that the monies were stashed in different parts of the vehicle including inside tennis shoes. When we asked whom the monies belonged to, Police said they were at the preliminary stages of investigation. Today we spoke with Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police Formation, Superintendent Richard Rosado.

 

Richard Rosado

Supt. Richard Rosado, O.C., San Ignacio Police Formation

“Police and a team of volunteer Special Constable were conducting anti-crime patrol within the Santa Elena Town area and upon reaching in front of the Ministry of Works compound on the George Price Highway, the police attention was drawn to a black in colour heavily tinted SUV bearing no license plate that overtook the patrol mobile. The said vehicle was traveling in the direction of Belmopan and was subsequently pursued and intercepted. Police subsequently approached the vehicle and noticed that there were eight persons in the vehicle with the driver. The driver’s license of the driver was requested where it was learnt that he was a Police Constable attached to the Benque Viejo Police Formation. The occupants of the vehicle were later learnt to be Salvadorans and they had no form of travel documents with them. Statements have been recorded and a joint investigation has been launched by the human services, immigration and police.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now Mister Rosado, was there any cash discovered in that particular vehicle?”

 

Supt. Richard Rosado

“Yes. We do believe a certain amount of cash was in the vehicle which we have as exhibit at the moment.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Okay. Is this amount of cash huge or just an amount that someone would be carrying around and in what currency?”

 

Supt. Richard Rosado

“It was in US currency and I believe it was just over two thousand US dollars.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now, talk to us about those individuals in that vehicle; what age range?”

 

Supt. Richard Rosado

“Four males and four females; four of them were minors.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now have they expressed to you how they got into Belize without travel documents?”

 

Supt. Richard Rosado

“At this moment, Human Services, Immigration and Police investigators are still interrogating, interviewing the persons them.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Police have any idea of how they got here, if perhaps they crossed by river?”

 

Supt. Richard Rosado

“We still haven’t ascertained that as yet; we are still preliminary stage of the investigation.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Is there any reason to believe that perhaps this is some form of organized human smuggling that has been happening for a while?”

 

Supt. Richard Rosado

“Well, the investigation is in its preliminary stage. But we do know that is some form of human smuggling that is happening within the area, specifically with Salvadorans.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, now what happens with these men [women], they are currently detained. What is the next step from Police?”

 

Supt. Richard Rosado

“Well, upon the completion of the investigation, in fact, the police officer and the immigrants are presently detained. They are presently going through the interview process and upon the completion of that a determination will be done on how we will proceed with the matter from there.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“The news of a police officer being found in that vehicle, I think has raised the public’s concerns. How is that being dealt with from the police’s perspective, considering that this is one of your own?”

 

Supt. Richard Rosado

“Well, the Commissioner of Police has a zero tolerance to police officers abusing their authority and in this case specifically committing an offence. An internal investigation has been launched by the Professional Standards Branch, as parallel to the criminal investigation. At the end of the investigation, we do believe that the police officers will be charged with either criminal or immigration offences along with disciplinary offences.”

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