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Jan 24, 2014

More on the Castro and cheques from Belize Airports Authority

Minister of State Edmond Castro and the Belize Airports Authority—a politician and his personal piggy bank… The story of cheques drawn on the BAA’s account and made out to Castro, his friends and family and to pay his personal and political debts is a sordid one. The story broke wide open on News Five on Tuesday night, and Castro was conspicuously absent from the House meeting on Wednesday. But he still came under fire despite his absence, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow was forced to mount a defense. According to the P.M., what Castro did was wrong and distasteful, but not corrupt. Furthermore, the PM promised that it will never happen again, at least not with this particular minister and that particular statutory body. But it doesn’t end there…not by a long shot. The public outcry has been immediate and forceful. And it promises to get much worse, since many more checks have surfaced. Mike Rudon has been following the distasteful error of judgment and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

At the House of Representatives on Wednesday P.U.P. leader Francis Fonseca stood up with checks in hand and read them out one by one. He claimed to have more than sixty checks made out to Castro et al, proving that Castro had used the BAA as his own personal piggy bank. The disclosure obviously irritated the PM to no end, but he seemed intent to close the door on the matter, stating that he doubts Fonseca really has all those checks.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I don’t believe there are sixty. The leader of the opposition did not recite sixty and I absolutely challenge him to produce sixty. In terms of my discussions with the board, I am pretty confident that we are not talking about fifty. And you would expect that the leader of the opposition was on to a good thing that he would exaggerate.”

 

If the proof is in the pudding, we got a whole pastry shop full today – seventy-eight checks drawn from the operating account of the Belize Airports Authority.

 

Edmond Castro

There are checks made out to Jafari Castro, the son of Minister of State Edmond Castro…at least ten of them in the batch that we got. There are checks made out to political operatives in Belize Rural Central. There are checks made out to Minister of State Edmond Castro, checks made out to his family members, checks made out to his driver and workers and checks which were allegedly used to pay bills racked up by the Minister…not only for political events but for personal expenses. It’s a mess. We didn’t have time to go through it all today, but we will.

 

As the Prime Minister stated…it is distasteful. But is it corrupt? Reputable watchdog organization Transparency International states that the definition of corruption is, “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain…” We’d say this certainly qualifies. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

While BAA General Manager, Kenworth Tillett, refused to speak to News Five about the cheques, there are reports that some of the cheques are for legitimate BAA expenses. On Monday, we’ll have a closer look at the long list of cheques.

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19 Responses for “More on the Castro and cheques from Belize Airports Authority”

  1. Rod says:

    You are a big corrupt thief judas and Castro. You will be locked up soon for thief wow you turned out to be exactly what I thought you were all along judas just a plain old thief . I wonder how much money judas has taken from the po people of this country.

  2. sickntired says:

    If the BAA wants to take the fall then teach them a lesson and fire a couple people because BAA should not be abusing the money either. The cheques directly related to the minista are blatant acts of corruption. All the rest that BAA happy to say are their expenditures are clear examples of mismanagement cause i no see why them need to spend so much money on things that no impact positively on airport imorovement.

  3. Joe Blank says:

    This UDP Party and Government is a conglomerate of thieves. They are obligated to protect each other as they have no choice. There are two types of thieves in this administration. Those that engage in “legal or lawful” corruption and the “outright shameless thieves” like Castro and Vega. The Barrows,Youngs, and NIP lawyer elites engage in “legal corruption”. These are the same people who raked Said Musa over the coals in their pompous, sanctimonious ways over the same “legal corruption”. In the USA, the justice department would have dragged them all off to jail. We truly live in a Banana Republic!!
    The thing that galls me the most is impotence and unwillingness of the pious choir of civil servants and union members who were so militant about “corruption”. There response has been one of tolerance and conspiracy to protect their party. Let me be very blunt about this. I said it then and I saw it now. The only issue they had with Musa was that he had the wrong ethnicity. Go ask Hubert Elrington. In 1998, he made the racist remark that Musa should not lead Belize because he is an Arab. The naked truth is right here before us. Same corruption. Different colour man and party. Morality does not discriminate according to colour and party. Belize has become a big exception.Kudos to us Belizeans of all complexions and ethnicity who can call a spade a spade. Musa is wrong for Belize because he is a crook not because he is an Arab. The same applies to the UDP: crooks!

  4. Ali BaBarrow, god of thieves says:

    A piggy minister needs a piggy bank.

    Castro, one of the forty.
    Protects Ali’s penis during booty calls.
    Currently out of sight on special assignment: governmental booty calls.

    Deserves the Halifax gibbet, drawn and quartered along with Ali’s penis.

  5. Louisville, Ky. says:

    @ Joe Blank I was with you all the way until you brought race and ethnicity into the equation. Why are your feelings still hurt about something the so called “unguided missile” may have said almost two decades ago? Hubert is not in power and if he had his way, neither would Dean be.
    You are grinding an axe my boy and it is you, that comes across as racist.
    At least we agree on one thing: As far as corruption is concerned changing blue for red is like exchanging a white monkey for a white dog….same difference!

  6. Al Rich says:

    How much more will this PM cover for his forty thieves. Makes me wonder what they have on him. How can he say what Castro has done is not corruption. To draw personal checks on a government account is not corruption. Then the man who breaks into my house and steal from me is not a thief or a robber.

    Where is this PM coming from. The truth is that if he acknowledges that what this Castro did is wrong he will have to fire him and he will have to act on all the treasonous acts his government is committing. The safest thing is for the PM to keep his mouth shut and pretend nothing is happening.

    The poor people are left to fend for themselves. Those dollars could be used for repairs and improvements to the airport. This is the worse travesty of justice. Get these people out of government.

  7. Stuart says:

    belize bank is releasing its customers private checks? isnt that a crime?

  8. Citizen says:

    “I don’t believe there are sixty, said the PM. We don’t care if it was one, since one would be too much. The people want justice and what the PM is offering is pure BS!

  9. Ali BaBarrow luvs Beano with his Deano says:

    “I don’t believe there are sixty. ”

    You got that Deano, it’s Ali BaBarrow and his forty thieves.

    But your team is breeding, could be 60 since last count.
    So some human sacrifices might be needed, you are only allowed forty thieves.
    A constitutional amendment won’t fix that number!
    But as a tin badged lawyer, go for it, piggies might fly.

  10. Love says:

    If we go to the bank to barrow 3 gran, we pay good interest including paper work. Castro walked away with over hundred thousand dollars and Barrow still have time to be playing with words.

  11. Guerra says:

    Tell us senor Barrow, what would have happen if someone didn’t release these checks. Crooked Castro would have fleeced the whole budget and nothing would have been said. How come he was able to get away with this kind of fleecing without you guys realizing what was happening? Gosh…you f@#$ing guys make me sick in the stomach. Instead of PM trying to cover Castro with a blanket, he should have send him packing, even if the government have to fall, like he make it sound he would have done.

  12. moses x says:

    Lets not forget the PUP and Ralph and Musa et al who stole millions from social security and courtmey too. Politics in Belize is like sex; the pup and udp take turn to get on top doggie style, and the Belize people holler and bawl on the licking from whomever is on top.

  13. curious says:

    Moses, wi wah neva figet Ralphie an Musa. Deh ya UDP bredda deh anda presha bekaaz deh mi deh pan wah hi harse di preech anti korupshan befo deh get eena powa, like deh kant bruk egg, now deh di bruk kohune. Now deh di swalla deh vamit, i tink. So we waan sen di messige home to dem dat u no preach weh u no wah do. deh mek we believe, we swalla hook, bait, sinka and line, dat deh wah be difrent. deh dah di same ting. what a mighty shame, shame, shame, shame.

  14. ceo says:

    So it is not 60 checks it is “only” 50! Who the heck cares about how many? What the public cares about is that checks were written to him. Even if it was only 1 check it was bad and not only distateful but corrupt!

  15. Billey says:

    The Belizean people is waking up. By 2020 we will be fully awake. If you want to be white collar thief, you had better go and steal somewhere else, but not in the house of representative which should have honorable men. It makes us sick in the guts to hear PM say Honorable Penner, when there is nothing honorable in this plain straight forward young man, who have no shame, thieving crooked in your face, conniving pole cat. Then we are also suppose to call Castro honorable too. They spank him for stealing a Lady’s land money, then the man lied when he said he was not involve in visa scam, but he wasn’t finish yet, he had to be caught collecting money from BAA like if it was his personal account. Where did we find this whole bunch of thieves? Wouldn’t put it pass him that he was the diplomat who delivered Wonhong Kim passport. $$$$$ was involve. Then Johnnie said, ‘Me, no even ask me da question, I no know nothing about visa! Johnnie, you sure you didn’t help one a you lee constituency out. Oh, maybe, but I called, I no write!

  16. Concern says:

    Barrow said it was not corruption for clear the land to collect checks. Lets switch the role! Would he say the same if one of us was to ask the board to write us checks and they did. The man would have fumed and say the board is fired, and the person who cash the check must pay it back, even if it was a cheesy $100.00! Seems what good fe the goose is not good for the gander.

  17. Citizen says:

    Belize bank is releasing its customer check, isn’t that a crime?

    It’s the people’s money, not the ministers private slush fund. We elected them to work for us, on our behalf. We need to know what those mothereffers are doing? Plain and simple. How else will we catch future crooks if everything is hidden under the table?

  18. Joe Blank says:

    Louisville, Ky: Just calling a spade a spade Jack! Deal with it.

  19. Lowjack says:

    The people will not tolerate more of this crap!!!! One day
    they will stand together to take this shitheads out
    of the power, i hope it not get til that point Belize is a
    beautiful country and this scumbags are thieving the people’s money

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