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Jun 2, 2017

ASP Rochelle Chan Will Seek Legal Advice Over Naming in Senate Inquiry

Assistant Superintendent of Police Rochelle Chan has spoken out, but reluctantly, in response to statements made by acquaintance Alvarine Burgess in Wednesday’s public hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee. News Five tracked him down this morning in Ladyville coming out of a meeting. Calling on his twenty-four years of experience as a police officer, Chan was a stone wall on questions surrounding the public hearing and his relationship with Burgess. But he was willing to say that he does not have anything to hide in relation to his personal life and finances and opined that this will cause some professional trouble for him. News Five’s Aaron Humes contrasts Chan’s statement with Burgess’ candid testimony.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Alvarine Burgess’ bombshell news of a senior police officer’s involvement in procuring visa recommendations from Ministers of Government has set tongues wagging this week. But can it be proven? Here is how she described her first meeting with then-Police Inspector, now Assistant Superintendent in charge of Hattieville Police, Rochelle Chan.

 

Alvarine Burgess

Alvarine Burgess, Whistleblower [File: June 1st, 2017]

“We were in Mr. Chan’s vehicle and he mentioned to me if I know anybody in immigration department because he heard when I mentioned to my cousin what I came here to do, and I asked him what he meant, and he said, “I heard you mentioning to your cousin that you were helping your neighbour get her nationality,” and I told him I do not know anybody in the Immigration Department. Mr. Chan mentioned to me that even if I know people up higher or something like that, I told him yes. I know Minister Castro, I know Minister John Saldivar because we went to high school together and I know Minister Contreras because my husband used to play football with him. He said, well, you want to make some money, and I asked him what you mean.”

 

In Hattieville today, Chan appeared out of uniform, drawing a distinct line between his police work and private life. Officially, he is keeping his own counsel.

 

Rochelle Chan

ASP Rochelle Chan, Denies Involvement

“I have not read nor heard what has been said in the Senate Select [Committee]. What I can say right now is that if there is any comment that I need to say in regards to what all has been said, I will reserve that for now. I am seeking legal advice in relation to whatever has been said. In relation to the comments that I have been reading through the social media, I cannot stop anyone from saying anything. I know that the Honorable Senate Select [Committee] is conducting an inquiry and things have come forth. And in relation to Miss Alvarine Burgess as mentioned, I do not know her in that name; I know her – I will not deny the fact – by ‘Cosa’; her name is ‘Cosa’ as far as I am concerned and I saw her picture. Nonetheless, I would not want to elaborate on anything in relation to the inquiry for now.”

 

According to Burgess, it was Chan to whom she reported back after her meetings with Edmond Castro in Belmopan.

 

Alvarine Burgess [File: May 31st, 2017]

“In a day or two, I would be called by the secretary to tell me that the applications were approved, and I had to get back to [Rochelle] Chan, and tell him they were approved; and he would get to me with the money, the two thousand dollars per approved visa, and I would take the books, be it four or six, with the money to the Immigration Department.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee [File: May 31st, 2017]

“I find it hard to believe that Mr. Chan would propose to a stranger, somebody he doesn’t know to go and see a Minister, and later on to pay two thousand dollars to that person; that is really the difficulty I am having.”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“He asked me about if I wanted to make money; I didn’t make money that day. He asked me about making money and I mentioned to him about the people who I knew, and I would check with them first, and if it was okay then we would start working.”

 

ASP Chan contends that any involvement in side work apart from his police duties, with the kind of money that Burgess talked about, would attract attention, and he told us that he can and will disclose his financial position to disprove her allegations.

 

ASP Rochelle Chan

“As an experienced person pertaining to certain things, my opinion would be: you cannot hide no paper trail; you cannot hide tangible evidence; and if there is certain things it should be there in the report, things that you can pull and show; things that can be brought forth as evidence.”

 

ASP Chan, a decorated police officer of twenty-four years’ experience, is already worrying about the impact of the allegations being made against him.

 

Rochelle Chan

“Presently it has not affected me in any way; but I can foresee from my point of view and opinion that maybe – and it’s my opinion to say – [there will be] some sort of victimization [at] some future date when the time comes. Because the way I see it, this is an inquiry but it seems, in my opinion now, a more political venture and I have now been placed by ‘Miss Cosa’ to certain things.”

 

Whether that prediction comes true remains to be seen. Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Like Barton Middleton, ASP Rochelle Chan says his name never appeared in the Auditor General’s Report, but he could be summoned as Middleton was. Chan did confirm that he is the brother-in-law of Elvin Penner but would not respond to any inquiry about the nature of that relationship as it related to Immigration activities.

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