Cop accused of extorting money at checkpoint
Not too long after Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced Operation Restore Belize—designed to re-establish confidence in the Police and a sense of order to Belize City streets—yet another police constable is facing charges of misconduct. An allegation of extortion has been filed against police constable, twenty nine year old Elvis Mai. The charge follows a report by twenty five year old Cassandra Lino, who claims that Mai extorted forty dollars from her. Lino reported to the officer’s superiors that on Tuesday when she drove up to the mile four checkpoint on the Western Highway—shortly after three p.m. on her way to Belize City—the officer who greeted her was not interested in ensuring that her vehicle was legally on the road. She said the officer, who wore number four twenty five on his shoulder, demanded that she give him money to avoid charges of driving without a driver’s license, driving under the influence and possession of weed seeds. But Lino did not take the act lightly. She drove straight to the police station and reported the matter and an investigation followed. During that investigation on Wednesday, the officer in question, Elvis Mai, was taken to a location where Lino positively identified him as the officer who had extorted money from her the day before. But a check of Mai’s records show that his regulation number is five-five-three, not the four twenty five that he was allegedly wearing the day he stopped Lino and wore the day, his peers escorted him so Lino could identify him. Mai was charged with Extortion and taken to the Magistrate’s Court today. No plea was taken from him and he was granted bail of two thousand dollars and ordered to re-appear in court on July twenty eighth. Reports are that Mai has been accused of a similar offense in the past but that he was not criminally charged and was instead dealt with internally by the Department.