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Jun 23, 2017

U.S. Hands Police Refurbished Boats

The United States of America has formally transferred three boats and equipment valued at close to a million Belize dollars to the Belize Police Department.  The vessels were previously seized by Belizean authorities and subsequently refurbished and equipped to fight criminal activities. According to the U.S. Embassy in Belize, “this project is expected to help increase the Government of Belize’s ability to combat, deter and disrupt narcotics trafficking and illegal activities in the waters of Belize.”  It places state-of-the-art equipment on rugged boats designed for rapid deployment required to interdict illegal activities in Belize waters. Aaron Humes has a report.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

While regularly partners to the Belize Defence Force and Belize Coast Guard to stop illegal activity in Belizean seas and waters, the Police Department does not have a reputation as a maritime force. But according to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, that was not always so.

 

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

“Many years ago when I joined the Belize Police Force then, the Department had a maritime capability. Over the years that dwindled and became defunct due to the fact that maintaining vessels and engines [is] a very expensive venture. In 2000 when the Anti-Drug Unit was formed, again, they had a maritime capability that was used across this country; again, due to various issues, those vessels became in a state of disrepair. They did not give up; the Department did not give up, because obviously, as a law enforcement department, the Police Department, we do need to be on the waters and we do need our own maritime assets.”

 

And in 2015, negotiations began with U.S. authorities, resulting in the new fleet of boats that will help Police operations on the sea.

 

Allen Whylie

“I am indeed pleased that the Anti-Narcotics Unit now has a maritime capability that will allow it to operate within the maritime waters of Belize in a collaborative effort with other law enforcement agencies as well be able to operate independently, on its own. And so I want to register my distinct pleasure as well as the thanks of the Belize Police Department and the Government and people of Belize for the contribution and refurbishing of these vessels.”

 

Chargé d’ Affaires ad interim, Adrienne Galanek, details how the Police got a hold of the vessels in the first place.

 

Adrienne Galanek

Adrienne Galanek, Chargé d’ Affaires ad interim, U.S. Embassy

“The Belize Police Department’s new maritime capability is a result of a whole of Government effort. These Colombian vessels that you see before you were involved in illicit activity and were confiscated by authorities – two were seized by the Coast Guard and the third one was seized by the ANU. These seizures deserve to be celebrated, because now these vessels will combat illegal narcotic activity and trafficking in Belize. To refurbish the boats, the INL and DEA sections worked hand in hand with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the ANU to assess necessary capabilities and to appropriately upgrade and outfit these vessels with electronic communications and navigational equipment. The vessels are also equipped with a variety of spotlights to enable operations on a twenty-four-seven basis. INL invested nearly four hundred and fifty-thousand U.S. dollars into these upgrades. These vessels will greatly enhance the Belize Police Department’s maritime operational capacity and effectiveness in Belizean waters. The ANU will track, monitor and intervene against illegal activities in coastal waters.”

 

As part of the project, the Police Department has partnered with the Belize Coast Guard to facilitate training for the boat captains and engineers. Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Since 2008, the U.S. Embassy, through INL/CARSI, has committed more than forty million U.S. dollars in assistance to Belize to promote good governance, increase prosperity, and enhance citizen security.

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3 Responses for “U.S. Hands Police Refurbished Boats”

  1. spike says:

    I wonder if these boats will be used for personal use instead of what they are intended for. It’s always the way in Belize.

  2. Kriol Chicken says:

    Now the Police can move their drug shipments around more easily…

  3. Moses Benguche says:

    There is a saying, “never look a gift horse in the mouth”. This is an exception. The US is not giving anything they are receiving. Everyone knows that the the gift is intended to stop drugs from entering the US. They should be paying Belize to do their drug interdiction. Currently there is a drug epidemic going on in the US and the will do everything to stop this. Belizeans dont know this but they are being suckered to do jobs for the US.

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