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Mar 8, 2017

Skeptical Senate Warns: ‘Fool Di Taak, But Da No Fool Di Listen’

Patrick Tillett

The Senators, to say the least, found it unbelievable that Tillett would be willing to cover the loss on the visas if the transaction, as he insisted, was above-board. Try though they might, they were not able to budge Tillett from his testimony. After Tillett claimed to be unsure of whether he could be considered “financially well off” because he could spend the kind of money he claims for a hit-or-miss application, Trade Union Senator Elena Smith employed a much-quoted Belizean proverb to convey her scepticism and frustration.

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“You pay somebody three thousand dollars; are you not surprised that you ended up in a situation where what you got was something irregular, because it can’t be three thousand dollars to go to Belmopan? It seems to me for some reason, whether the application form was incomplete, there was some reason why you were not going to get those visas. So somebody was paid three thousand dollars, expecting that you would get regularly issued visas with the stamp and everything, but they couldn’t go through the official channels, so hold this money; however you get it, bring it to me. It turns out that money was clearly spent, out of that three thousand, paying somebody to procure those visa foils – they put it in there, but they didn’t have the proper stamp. The problem with all of it, and why we have a difficulty with your role, is that you stood this loss. So you must have known up front that I am taking a risk, I lost, I tek the lick. You’re not seeing that?”

 

Patrick Tillett, Financial Controller, Belize City Council

“No.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Well, explain to us why you stood a loss of twenty-four thousand dollars?”

 

Patrick Tillett

“What else would I be able to do?”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Go to the police; all of it was above-board, remember?”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“You charged the client – you’re doing a legitimate service; what happened was something unforeseen; you’re not responsible for that, legally, if it was illegitimate. You’re not responsible for the fact that somebody did something illegal. I don’t see why you took the loss; it’s not adding up.”

 

Elena Smith, Senator for Trade Unions and Civil Society

“Mr. Tillett, do you consider yourself to be a financially well-off person?”

 

Patrick Tillett

“I don’t know what that…that’s too vague to make any comment.”

 

Elena Smith

“Financially, because you can afford to lose twenty-four thousand dollars; would you consider yourself to be financially well-off?”

 

Patrick Tillett

“Like I said, that’s too vague; I don’t know what to say.”

 

Elena Smith

“You know, I sit here and I listen and one saying comes to my mind. I don’t want to be rude and I don’t mean to be rude, but the only things that crosses my mind is the saying we have that says, ‘Fool di taak but da no fool di listen.’ I’ll have to end with that.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Skeptical Senate Warns: ‘Fool Di Taak, But Da No Fool Di Listen’”

  1. carlos says:

    All of those involved in the this immigration scam should go to jail along with Mr. Penner and the other high position immigration officers.

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