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Sep 8, 2017

Cops to court for extortion

A pair of officers attached to Precinct Three in Belize City is out on bail after being arraigned on extortion related charges earlier today.  The duo, identified as Sergeant Lenancio Bol and Police Constable Daniel Requena, appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford after being held in detention since Thursday.  It is alleged that on September fifth, the policemen demanded a sum of eight hundred dollars from Estefania Gomez.  According to Gomez, she visited the Queen Street Police Station at around eleven-thirty on Tuesday night where she reported to officers on duty that two hours earlier, while at work, she received a call from a friend who informed her that three of her female friends were being detained by police.  Gomez was told that they were being held for not having legal papers to remain in Belize.  While at the precinct, Sergeant Bol told Gomez that he would be handing over the women to the Immigration Department.  That’s when she asked what can be done to have them released from police custody.  Gomez offered him eight hundred dollars which he initially rejected.  He finally agreed to the offer and was paid in denominations of fifty and hundred dollar notes.  Those bills, it turns out, were all marked.  When police caught up with their colleagues in the vicinity of St. Mark Street, the monies were retrieved from a police mobile.  The men were arrested and detained and arraigned earlier today.

 

ACP Dezerie Philips, Commander, Eastern Division

ACP Dezerie Phillips

“Sergeant Lenancio Bol has been charged with extortion and PC Daniel Requena has been charged for conspiracy to commit extortion.  I will not get into the investigation of this case at this time.”

 

Reporter

“Are they being investigated within the police department?”

 

ACP Dezerie Philips

“Definitely.  It is a policy within the police department that once you are charged criminally for an offense or a crime you are also dealt with disciplinarily under the police code and this case is no exception.  That is also being done.”

 

Reporter

“Where are they being attached to specifically?”

 

ACP Dezerie Philips

“To Precinct Three.”

 

Reporter

“What happened to the persons that were supposed to be illegal immigrants?”

 

ACP Dezerie Philips

“Like I said, I will not get into the details of the investigation.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Is it of concern to you guys that there seems to be a rising number of extortion cases taking place within the department?”

 

ACP Edward Broaster

ACP Edward Broaster, Operations Commander

“That’s not the case.  What you’ve been seeing is an increase in interdiction efforts, alright, because we will not tolerate any rogue or officers acting unlawfully.”

 

ACP Dezerie Phillips

“But also, to add on that, the department maintains its zero tolerance to wrongdoing by its officers and this is another testimony that we stand by that mandate.  So we investigate our officers and when we have evidence to charge, we charge criminally and internally.”

 

The men were offered and met bail in the sum of two thousand dollars.

 

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