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Jul 11, 2017

Police, B.D.F. still following uniforms case; was possession a crime?

The supply of used B.D.F. uniforms and outboard engines and its mysterious appearance in the possession of civilians, particularly a Mexican national and two Belizeans, in Orange Walk, continues to be investigated.  While the men have since been released without charges, there is an inquiry into whether there was indeed a breach in protocol within the Ministry of Finance.  That government department is tasked with the disposal of the unwanted military equipment.  How they ended up in the hands of the trio remains unanswered.  Today, ComPol Whylie admitted that while there have been arrests in the past for possession of camouflage attire, it’s a law that has been challenged and thus enforcement has been relaxed.

 

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

Allen Whylie

“I know a number of items were indeed found by the police.  The matter is being investigated.  Obviously the investigation has not concluded and there’s nothing stopping us from at the end of that investigation charge persons if indeed they have committed some crime or some offense.  In terms of what those individuals were doing with those items, that process of the investigation is still ongoing.  In the past I can recall that we use to charge people for being in possession of uniforms, but I was told that there was some challenge to a case that we had many years ago and the practice has ceased in terms of charging for those things.  So what we’re trying to establish is how those items got there?  What those persons were doing with it and who took it there, et cetera.  So as I said, it’s an active investigation and I wouldn’t want to go into it too much.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, are you looking at any breaches in the B.D.F. systems in which these items which were marked for destruction ended up being sent to a location?  It appears that they had other intentions than to destroy, as was the intention.  The Financial Secretary, to us, has said that this was a breach and we have since learned that text messages have been sort of making the rounds in the press showing communication between the Mexican national and a senior B.D.F. officer and someone from the Ministry of Finance being referenced in those text messages… Are you all investigating whether there was that breach where a transaction was being conducted to set aside these equipment apart from what their intended purpose was which was for destruction?”

 

Allen Whylie

“We are looking at whether or not any criminal act took place.  I’m certain that the Ministry of Defense is looking at whether or not their internal process to see if any breaches had occurred.  We are looking at whether any criminal activity took place, but I cannot speak for the Ministry of Defense, you’d have to perhaps ask the C.E.O. or perhaps the general.”

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