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Jan 16, 2017

G.O.B. Will Proceed with Pitts-Vega Compensation Case

Michael Peyrefitte

Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte assumed office on January first, several days after a claim had been filed against businessman Andre Vega and U.D.P. insider Sharon Pitts.  Legal action is being taken by the Government of Belize against those individuals in an effort to recover almost one million dollars that was disbursed in two sums of four hundred thousand dollars each.  The payments were made for private parcels of land in the vicinity of Haulover Bridge that were acquired by the Ministry of Natural Resources from Pitts and Vega.  The transactions were made after it was discovered that the entire property had in fact belonged to a previous owner who remained in possession of the title for a number of years.  During that time, the tract of land was surveyed and divided into two plots which were later sold for a pittance to those persons.  When the original owner presented valid documents providing proof of ownership, Pitts and Vega were handsomely compensated to relinquish their titles.  In the wake of the ensuing scandal, former Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega resigned from Cabinet.  His son Andre Vega, along with Sharon Pitts were both ordered to return the monies, but have since failed to do so.  The claim against them was filed on December twenty-eighth, during the final days of then Attorney General Vanessa Retreage.  Earlier today, we asked the new AG for an update on the matter.

 

Isani Cayetano

“I’d like to bring up the issue of the Andre Vega/Sharon Pitts and the returning of the funds to the government’s coffers.  You are taking over from former Attorney General Vanessa Retreage.  Where do we stand on that matter?”

 

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“Well there is no intention from me to discontinue the matter.  The matter was filed; I won’t comment on the merits or demerits of the case itself.  I will refrain from ever trying to discuss cases or try them in public, so I have no… The case is there, it’s present.  I believe a claim has been filed and so then we go from there.  That’s all I would like to say on the matter for now for that.”

 

A date for when the case will be heard has not been set.

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