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Jul 12, 2017

Defense C.E.O. Awaits Police Report on Uniform Caper

Felix Enriquez

There is new information coming out of the Ministry of Defense tonight, following the discovery of a significant quantity of outdated military equipment that were scheduled to be dispensed with by the Ministry of Finance. On Thursday, a joint operation recovered ninety battle dress uniforms; various amounts of specialized shirts, pants and other accoutrements as well as peak caps and a helmet, all made to B.D.F. specification.  News Five sat down with Chief Executive Officer Felix Enriquez earlier today. The C.E.O., himself a former B.D.F. soldier, is baffled by the fact that the cache of used items somehow ended up in the possession of three civilians, including a Mexican national.  He admits that there has indeed been a breach of protocol which poses a national security concern, but just where the process was circumvented is yet to be determined.  What we can confirm is that the articles of clothing, as well as the used motors, had already been written off by the Ministry of Finance for destruction when they got in the hands of the trio.  According to Enriquez, the Ministry of Defense is expecting a report from Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie before proceeding with any further action.

 

Felix Enriquez, C.E.O., Ministry of Defense

“Any item that is to be disposed of from the Ministry of Defense, for any ministry, as far as I know, has to be channeled from the department through the ministry for approval for disposal and then we would in turn send it to the Ministry Finance.  After we are satisfied that yes indeed, these items could be disposed of.  When we procure items the Ministry of Finance gives us an allocation and on our authority they are procured and in this case for disposal it is the reverse.  With the items that were, that are in question, they were indeed sent to the Ministry of Defense for authority to dispose.  We in turn send that list to the Ministry of Finance and they would, as is normal, tell us who would pick them up.  That process will take place with whoever the Ministry of Finance delegates and whoever is assigned from the department, in this case the Belize Defense Force, to get those out.  They have a technical quartermaster who is in charge of kits and the likes, uniforms, and I believe that would be the person that would have done that.  In this case, those procedures were followed.  Beyond the point where the items were taken away by the persons at the Ministry of Finance, I cannot say what happened as yet.  I have been contacted by Commissioner Whylie; I have spoken to the commander to find out what happened.  I know that they did an internal investigation to ensure that the items were identified, that were captured were indeed the items that were being disposed and so we’ve confirmed that, the TQ confirmed that.  So I’m waiting now for, if there is any action to be taken, without having to speculate I would rely on what the police says.  So I’m waiting for a report from Commissioner Whylie before we make any further action.”

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