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Apr 30, 2014

Coye Family files for release of assets

The Coye Family was back again in court this morning because even though they were exonerated of a money laundering charge, their assets remain frozen. In a raid of their house in December of 2008, approximately one point five million dollars were discovered and the family’s assets and bank accounts were subsequently frozen. Well it’s been over a month since the ruling and the Coyes have still not been afforded access to their accounts nor has the one point five million dollars confiscated been returned. Attorney for the family, Arthur Saldivar, appeared before the court along with Melonie Coye and her mother, Marlene, to file an application to force the Financial Intelligence Unit to unfreeze their assets. The case was adjourned to May fifth and Saldivar spoke to the media about what he says is unconstitutional. 

 

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Coye Family

“It is being illegally withheld, illegally deprived by the government of Belize at this point. It is basically the funds that were in their bank accounts; from accounts that date all the way back to 1965. In that regard, today, the application was not heard because the FIU’s Attorney was not prepared to proceed so adjournment has been given until Monday for the full hearing of the application to be made and that’s where we are at, at this point.”

 

Reporter

Arthur Saldivar

“Can you give us the details of this application? What are you guys seeking and what relief can the court grant?”

 

Arthur Saldivar

“Well I think that is well known what we are seeking; we are seeking the return of the assets of the Coye Family and those assets have no lean on them. It is at this point totally unconstitutional for the government to continue to hold on to these assets considering that it has been proven that they have no legal basis to do so. This family is a Belizean family that has been deprived of everything that they have earned over the forty-fifty plus years of the working life of Mister Michael Coye for now five years. They are being made to scrounge for survival in a very harsh economic environment where they cannot get employment anywhere. Misses Coye herself is too old to work; Melonie, by virtue of the ordeal that she was put through is not in a position to go out into the labor market to seek employment anywhere. But the government has been very callous and very vindictive in carrying through its position of squeezing every iota of time out of this process. It speaks badly of a government that wants to profess that it is one that is promoting social justice. This persecution because it is not longer a prosecution; there is no ability to prosecute the case since it has gone through its course. We are fast approaching the sixty-day mark that is the basis of the order as it relates to the funds that were seized from twelve Johnson Street. What you must bear in mind is that what we are seeking here by this application are funds that were never part of the case. These were funds that were never even suggested to be of a criminal nature.”

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