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Jan 30, 2014

Opposition Leader calls for an independent audit of Airports Authority accounts

The Board of the Belize Airport Authority has been asked to resign en masse by Cabinet in the wake of the Castro cheque scandal and from what we know at least three members have already tendered their resignation to the Ministry of Transport. At last Wednesday’s House meeting, the Leader of the Opposition said there were at least seventy copies of cheques, which according to Francis Fonseca demonstrate a pattern of abuse and misuse of public funds collected by the Belize Airports Authority’s and spent on the constituency of the Minister of State, Edmond Castro. According to Fonseca, removing the BAA and transferring it to the Ministry of Tourism is not the answer to corruption, he says the situation warrants an independent audit.

 

Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition

Francis Fonseca

“It is a consistent pattern of behavior man. We remember that in the first U.D.P. term, the prime minister had to remove this particular minister as a minister of state for very similar acts of alleged corruption. So there is a consistent pattern and we believe that this latest move where the government has decided and the cabinet has decided to move the department of civil aviation from the ministry of transport—where it really belongs—to the ministry of tourism is absolutely foolishness. It is Castro, the minister of state who should be removed. You should not be moving the department; you should be removing the minister of state who has demonstrated over and over in our view that he is unfit for public office. It is good that the government recognizes that action has to be taken; the board has been asked to resign—we support that—but that can’t be the end of the story. There has to be a proper audit of the BAA funds. The Belize people have to understand what took place there. How much monies were advanced to Minister Castro, for what purposes those monies were advanced, when those funds advanced and on whose authority were those funds advanced. I think all of those questions need to be answered fully so that the Belizean people can feel comfortable that in fact, we have a proper understanding of the level and depth of the corruption that took place at the Belize Airports Authority.”

 

Duane Moody

“Should there be—and I know that of course these cheques that came forward were only for a short period of time—is it possible that this could have been happening long before and it warrants more investigating, a detailed audit?”

 

Francis Fonseca

“I certainly believe, as I said that we need a comprehensive, independent audit of the funds to answer those very questions. They are very important questions and the Belizean people deserve answers to those questions and the only way we will get them is with an independent audit and a proper investigation. The competent authorities should be allowed to act and to go in.  Certainly we have to look at the fiduciary responsibility of the board—these are public funds man. The Belize Airports Authority is a statutory body, but we are dealing with public funds, funds collected from the public—public companies, private companies or individuals and those monies should be managed on behalf of the people of Belize in the best and most responsible way.”

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3 Responses for “Opposition Leader calls for an independent audit of Airports Authority accounts”

  1. LOL says:

    The results from the independent audit will be very DISTASTEFUL.

  2. Johnny Cash says:

    I keep repeating myself. Belizeans are the stupidest people on the planet.

  3. Timber says:

    Awww, and this is only the tip of the iceberg for BAA. You will have to investigate Hoare and some of his associates. Hoare, especially thinks he’s untouchable. Whenever this investigation starts it will have far-reaching effects because a certain Operations Manager at airport, whose name only came up in the background when the plane of Asian nationals landed and the immigration officers took the fall, will be in hot water. Business propositions have come to that airport already to improve the system and introduce another carrier but shunned aside because the hustle

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