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Oct 13, 2011

42 weapons still missing from B.D.F.; there were other incidents

Investigations are ongoing tonight into the scandalous heist at the B.D.F. compound at Price Barracks, Ladyville. Whether or not there was collusion, the robbery presents a huge embarrassment for the security forces and public confidence is waning. The arsenal of forty-two guns, including the M-4 Carbines and M-16s were jacked from two of five rooms in the weapons bulk store that is located in compound of the headquarters. The question of when it happened is unanswered since the robbery was detected on Wednesday morning and patrols on the warehouse are held only weekly. News Five’s Jose Sanchez looks back at the anemic security at the B.D.F. headquarters.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

An M4 Carbine was lost from the guardroom at the entrance to the Price Barracks in January 2010. It was recovered a month later in Esperanza Village amongst the possessions of Gary Seawell, who had been in hiding since 2007, pending extradition hearings to the U.S.A.

Paul Wade

Supt. Paul Wade, O.C., San Ignacio Police Station [File: February 9th, 2010]

“San Ignacio Police were conducted the anti-crime operation about three and a half miles off the outskirts of Esperanza Village. During that operation, police executed a search on a farmhouse that was located in that vicinity. At the time, the house was occupied by Gary Gordon Seawell, thirty-three years entrepreneur of Ladyville, along with his common-law-wife Tanisha Ayuso of Belize City. During the search of that residence, police located four assault rifles, one handheld grenade, an assorted amount of ammunition, a bullet proof vest and three hundred and sixteen point one grams of suspected marijuana.”

Alvin Amoa

And a month later, in February 2011, an M16 rifle went missing from a sleeping B.D.F. soldier who was in the company of two police officers. The weapon had a full magazine of thirty ball rounds of five point five six millimeter ammunition when it went missing.

Major Alvin Amoa, Adjutant, B.D.F. [File: February 9th, 2010]

“The soldiers and the police went to the area but did not conduct the foot patrol. They went into the policeman’s private vehicle where they fell asleep.  Sometime about four or a little after four, the soldier woke up and found out he didn’t have his M-16 in his possession.”

Jose Sanchez

“Going to someone else’s private vehicle, did that go against regulation?”

Major Alvin Amoa

“From the B.D.F. perspective it goes against regulation.”

There are different bulk stores for weapons and ammunition. The forty-two M16’s, M4’s and nine millimeters were stored at the back of the B.D.F. compound near the housing area. And since patrols only check once a week, it is difficult to say when the burglary occurred.

Javier Castellanos

Javier Castellanos, Deputy Commander, B.D.F.

“The one we are referring to is a different weapons bulk store. This weapon bulk store is used mostly to store unserviceable, unserviceable weapons, and in this case weapons which are not issued to the regular units or which are about to be issued—they are secured there prior to particular unit that will receive those weapons.

Reporter

“I was told that some of those weapons are new, particularly the nine.”

Javier Castellanos

“As I said, when we receive them, they are taken there put on the ledger accounted for and then issued out to a unit.”

Door numbers one and three of the five-door weapons bulk store were busted open. And when we arrived at the building, you can see that the first door was wide open still not secured, until cameras were present.  The locks were cut on two doors, and at the rear of the building, a small hole was cut into the chain link. However, no one can say for sure when the hole was cut or if it played a role in the burglary.

Allen Whylie, C.E.O., Ministry of Defense

“The building has a perimeter fence. The fence was not in tact; there was a hole in the back of the fence.  I don’t know if that occurred as a result of the persons gaining entry but those things has been improved.”

But the power of and kill zone of the high-powered weapons are easily calculable.

Javier Castellanos

“Four different types here. Of the four; one of them being pistols. Pistols are personal protection firearms. The remainders are three different types of high powered rifles which have an effective range of three hundred meters (equivalent to three football fields) or maximum range of five hundred meters (five football fields). Of these rivals, seven of them are serviceable which can be used. With regards to the security of this installation, as in any installation, security is an expensive venture. Security comes in layers. It depends on how much you have to spend—the finance—and it’s an installation that we took over from the British Forces. To date, it has not been properly surveyed. There are areas in this camp which have been breached before. Civilians enter. It’s difficult to keep them out. We have the swamps, the marshes to the back. We have the fences which deteriorate over the years. It’s an expensive venture. It is difficult to patrol and secure the perimeter of the fence. Bear in mind the perimeter of a fence is the first layer in security which can be breached and has been breached in many occasions in many military occasions. This is not the first occasion; not in Belize and not in any other country.”

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie

“There is nothing to indicate as I said. It just occurred today. It’s been actively investigated. We are sharing what we have with you. We don’t know who stole them, we don’t know what’s the purpose, we don’t know if dah Cartel people involved, we don’t know at this stage. Hopefully the investigation will lead towards some direction as to why they were stolen.”

Reporter

“You spoke about putting lighting and all the different other aspects—cameras—but would you consider…”

Allen Whylie

“The stationary guards are there; that is already in place. We’re looking at the light situation. The fence will be repaired. We’ll also be looking at the surveillance cameras as you’ve said. Those are things we will be working on actively. We will be changing the format in terms of the security of the door—additional security features will be placed on the doors.”

With BATSUB fragment grenades and B.D.F. M16 and M4 Carbines on the streets, only time will tell if the thirty thousand dollar reward will be enough. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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20 Responses for “42 weapons still missing from B.D.F.; there were other incidents”

  1. Rod says:

    This useless incompetent pm and gov . I keep telling you belizeans this useless gov. They are probably the same ones who stole thesevweapons and now they will pay themselves to recover these same weapons.

  2. belizeanlatino says:

    Bloody hell!!! that’s all we need huh!! more powerful weapons in the hands of the merciless killers roaming our once safe streets. what da hell is going on in Belize!

  3. Big Al says:

    The leaders of Belize need to be educated in curity planning and procedures pertaining to Military defense. The military is Base should be one the safest place in Belize. with that said, Allen Whyle Question for you. What steps will be taken to ensure that the weapons are foundand what measures will be implemented to deter acts like this from happening again? keep in mind I am not asking for excuses, meaning I don’t think the belizean people are corncern about price it cost to fixed the problems. Now the people you surround yourself with need to be fired, the leaders and supervisors that work that night or day nedd to reprimanded and charge. I am mentioning this because acts as like this one ,happened too often at the same place. I do not believe in hiring friends or relatives, I notice that this happens alot in the Belizean government. Also the police and the BDF need to implement Strict laws and rules pertaining to people. I was in Belize several Months ago and was very disturbed to see Police and MIlitary officers drinking Beer and alcohol while driving. the cops are out of shape, they look terrible in their uniforms and lack discipline. I was a shamed of them and they have no kind of respect for the coomunity which why they cannot get the help they need from them.

  4. Abner says:

    $30K that could have gone directly into fighting crime or poverty. Unbelievable. I manage a groceries storeroom and I do daily checks. This $30K should be deducted from the salaries of the commanders, supervisors, and the CEO himself for not doing their jobs properly.

  5. PG Gial says:

    WOW! Mr. Castellanos alluded to the fact that providing security for the facility is an expensive venture but I think that it would be worth every penny. Only in Belize would the security forces have an unguarded and unsecured armory. What baffles me is the amount of work that the thieves put in to get the weapons and were never sighted…smells fishy to me!! It’s time for some heads at the ministry of defence to roll!!

  6. superman says:

    why does belize needs an Army? Invest more in police reinforcement to secure borders and streets.
    An Army in such a small country is juast a huge waste of resources. The brits, will help us anyway if something big happens…….

  7. WTF says:

    can,t guard a fence , but look at the vehicles these same ministers are driving, Mercedes Benz, Lexux SUV, Land Cruiser all individually cost more than 250 thousand belize dollars. How much does an entry level BDF make in salary, do the math. the cost of one vehicle can pay 20 BDF for one whole year!!!IF this was Japan of Singapore the Minister of Defense and the CEO would commit suicide in shame!!!

  8. general says:

    its a shame on the bdf. maybe all of them should be fired and let the citizens of belize with common sense guard and protect our countrys assests and borders. enuff time things like this happens.

    partols. everyday of the week and on weekends – blue plates vehicles are roaming around on the expense of the poor ole tax payers of the country. i think these fuels that are being used for nothing should be put to good use.

    maybe the gov needs to restructure the use of gov vehicles. when they are not being use for office errands, maybe they can be used by the security forces of the country to do patrols. nuff time u hear the police dont have vehicles or fuel for the vehicles.

    all them very expensive rides that are being bought by these ministers/ministry should not be allowed. there are lots more durable vehicles that can be bought for far less and still get the job done. i am sure there are reasons why they buy them though, at the end of their terms they get to keep them or buy them for little penny. corruptions at all level at the exp of we the poor hard working citizens.

    WE NEED REAL LEADERS FOR OUR COUNTRY MY PEOPLE. I WONDER WHAT WE GONNA HEAR NEXT.

    our grader is already in guatemala, the plane gone missing from the airport, 42 guns just get mad and walk out of the armory, boad take fins and start swimming away from the coast guard.

    its sad how things are. i am not bashing the public servants but many are just politically employed and not doing bull at the ministry, big fats 2342q qwerqwew police and bdf.

    we are wasting our money and not getting the things done……

    WHAT CAN WE DO MY FELLOW BZEAN. THERE ARE MANY SMART AND INTELLIGENT PEOPLE WHO KNOWS WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE……ITS TIME TO STEP UP TO PLATE BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.

  9. BT says:

    “Providing security is expensive”? YOU ARE SECURITY!! Jeez man, did you think you needed to hire KBH rent-a-cops? You are the ARMY, you can provide your own security. If a chain link fence and bit of swamp make it impossible to protect your own compound, how the hell are you going to protect our country?? And “this has been happening since we took over from the British”??? What, since 1981 or just since 1994? At best this is an embarrassment, at worst it is criminal.

  10. Indian woman says:

    NO……….. the time has come for Belizeans to pick wisely when they vote. As one person stated……I don’t believe in hiring friends and relatives. Belizeans do not take much seriously. There is little pride and honor.It is a bloody shame.What they do is talk a lot.

  11. Elgin Martinez says:

    The ministry of National Security also need to take some blame because if these guys are not equipped then how efficient do we expect them to be.In the year 2011 the GOB can’t even afford to buy some surveillance camera for the BDF to secure their compound.

  12. carlos perdy says:

    What? Briceno is not the leader?l this is still lamentable

  13. Junie says:

    Fire the Commander, the Deputy Commander and their top officers……the buck should stop at them……..this is a national disgrace and embarrasment.

  14. Earl Grey says:

    INSIDE JOB??????????????

  15. Derick says:

    Extremely poor excuse commander. If the BDF can’t secure their buildings and their weapons maybe we should hire KBH or another security firm to secure their compound for them; maybe the BDF is ‘busy’ doing other stuff – shame and disgrace to the place that should be the most secure place in this country it has happend more than once;more than twice. We already have a hard time fighting crime and taking weapons off the street – now the BDF contributing to adding more weapons to our streets. PAYING THE BDF FOR SECURITY!! HA!! HA!! SHAME.SHAME.SHAME.SHAME

  16. Abner says:

    Security cameras and/or KBH shouldn’t even be mentioned here. They are the army, the security of the entire country, not to mention their own quarters. I bet when this robbery was taking place there were soldiers in other areas of the compound (or maybe in that same area providing security for the thieves) playing cards, sleeping or doing their brows, or whatever they do to pass time. In any “GOOD” army not all soldiers take time off/rest at the same time. schedule them to provide constant security not only for this storage but for the entire compound. I bet other things go missing that don’t make the news. Our needs for systems as mentioned by the minister of police is secondary in this case. WHAT WE NEED IS MORE COMMON SENSE AT ALL LEVELS CONCERNED. One of these days they will be surprised by an attack by Guatemala or the George Street Gangs and they won’t even see it coming. Do we wait for that to happen first to then put systems in place??

  17. JahKid says:

    Negligence to the highest level. Lazy, pure lazy stupid fools in the force now. Rum is the master to most of the top leaders. Check Tapia family background, who he is? They micro manage too much, so now it is time for them to personally answer for this crime. I’m sorry for the sincere and serious soldiers and officers of the BDF. They forgot that not all BDF troops are true soldiers. There are people who are in the rank and files who have connection to all the different gangs in Belize $#!%%&, You can bath and polish a hog, but as you let him go, he goes back to the mud. He loves the mud. These gang bangers in uniform would never change fi wah libit ah money weh BDF pay dem!!! This is plain to see that some members of the force are involved. I can tell you, right now they patrolling like crazy, but actually this is not the time to do that. You are very late for your own funerals!!! This is time to sleep even harder, because the loot has gone!!! Lock up all the guards and seniors responsible for duties. These guards spend all their time playing dominoes and all force card games. They don’t care. I pray that these weapons be found quick, Special Branch needs to squeeze some !@##$ of these soldiers that were working. ……….. I don’t care who you are!!! You wanted to see news like these, you got it. Even you are not safe. You are in danger!!! Big Time!!!

  18. Marny says:

    The fish always rots at the head…

  19. Earl Grey says:

    HEADS SHOULD ROLL……………..

  20. surnek says:

    An inside job, I used to go to the military base a few years ago you need an id card to get on base, but if you are in the military you dont need one, why pay for for something that you own, In the U.S. the military base has cameras,armed guards and three persons to get in the arms room.BIG INSIDE JOB.IF HE NEEDS THE MONEY GOT TO THE BANK AND GET A LOAN.

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