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Nov 5, 2018

No One to be Charged for Multi-Million Dollar Cocaine Bust

A mega drug cocaine drug bust last week involving a boat moored at the Princess Hotel, a single engine plane and two S.U.V.s won’t result in any drug charges. The operation started on Sunday and involved the B.D.F., the Police Department and the Coastguard, but something went awfully wrong.  First, a group of twelve Guatemalan nationals and a Belizean businessman were detained based on police intelligence.  Second, the operation yielded over one thousand pounds of cocaine, firearms and ammunition. But tonight the news is that while the cocaine remains in the hands of the police, of the thirteen detained, only seven Guatemalans are being charged, but no one is facing drug charges. The seven appeared in court to face firearm and immigration charges.  The Belizean and remaining five Guatemalans have been released.  Today, Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams explains that they were unable to gather evidential support to lay charges against any of the individuals, for the drugs.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations)

“We have not been able to tie any of the detainees to the drug discovery. Yes, some were charged with keeping unlicensed firearm and ammunition and that was shared with you all over the weekend. And those against whom we had no evidence, the foreigners were issued with O.T.L. and some were charged with immigration offenses and they went to court this morning.”

 

Reporter

“In terms of the owner of the Prado; have you all…”

 

Chester Williams

“That investigation is still ongoing.”

 

Reporter

“Have you all been able to detain anybody else in relation to that Prado?”

 

Chester Williams

“Not as yet. We are still trying to locate the person who is the owner of the Prado.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, is it a matter of frustration from the department that you all know intuitively, instinctively and factually, that these persons were involved in a conspiracy to tranship drugs through Belize, but because of the nature of constructive evidence that you must have, you are unable to bring charges and they escape scot-free, as the case may be? Is this a concern for you all that you are unable to cross all the T’s and dot the I’s and bring people to court for a conviction?”

 

Chester Williams

“I wouldn’t say that we were unable to cross the T’s and dot the I’s. As you rightly said, we cannot take people to court based on our intuition. We are a country of laws and the rule of law is paramount and so if the evidence is not there for us to link anybody to whatever crime we believe they may have committed, then the legal and the appropriate thing for us to do is to release them from custody. We cannot be seen to be concocting or fabricating evidence against people just for that moment of instant gratification. We want to be sure that when we move to arrest someone that we have the relevant evidence to be successfully prosecute whoever that person may be. And so at this time, I don’t see any failure or any incompetence on the part of the police.”

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