Channel5Belize.com » RSS Feed http://edition.channel5belize.com News 5 Live Thu, 24 Jan 2019 03:53:40 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 P.U.P. Says NO to I.C.J. in People’s Declaration; Demands Removal of Minister Elrington http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179195 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179195#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2019 03:53:40 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179195 The People’s United Party has taken its formal possession on the April tenth referendum. Following a series of nationwide consultations and a meeting of standard bearers of the thirty-one constituencies, the P.U.P. launched what it calls a People’s Declaration.  P.U.P. leader John Briceño was flanked by standards bearers when he delivered a consensus document that had been approved by its National Executive and will now go before the party council for its nod. The declaration says that after considering all the aspects of the education campaign, the unreadiness for the referendum and the position of supporters, the party says NO to the I.C.J.  The P.U.P. also makes a number of demands on the government. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The People’s United Party is recommending that Belizeans vote NO to the I.C.J.  The recommendation comes after P.U.P. Leader, John Briceño, held consultations in all thirty=one constituencies. Briceño today launched the People’s Declaration.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“The People’s United Party recalls the Party’s proud history of defending the rights of the Belizean people to self-determination and successfully leading Belize to political independence with all our territory intact as defined by the 1859 Treaty. Deplores Guatemala’s refusal to accept the integrity of the long established Belizean borders and its insistence on maintaining its unfounded claim to Belizean territory.  Respects  the sacred right of the Belizean people to decide whether or not we should submit the unfounded claim by Guatemala to Belizean territory to the International Court of Justice for final adjudication. Convinced that the Belizean people as a matter of conscience should exercise their right to decide on this issue free from fear mongering and on the basis of informed consent, which can only be achieved after an open, balanced and comprehensive education campaign. Strongly condemns the mismanagement of Belize – Guatemala relations by the Barrow Administration and the continued incompetence of Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington especially in relation to activities along our borders, including the government’s failure to negotiate a protocol on the Sarstoon. Having duly considered all aspects of the education campaign, the state of un-readiness for the I.C.J. Referendum scheduled for the tenth of April 2019 and the majority no position of party supporters.”

 

And with that Opposition Leader declared that ‘the decision whether or not to submit the Guatemalan Claim to Belizean territory for final adjudication is a national issue that should only be submitted to a referendum after a balanced, fully resourced and comprehensive education campaign and that the ‘current education campaign being conducted by the Government of Belize is disorganized, under-financed and not sufficiently balanced.’ Briceno then made several demands including the immediate removal of Wilfred Elrington as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

 

Wilfred Elrington

John Briceño

“That the education campaign be re-designed, managed and implemented by a well-resourced, independent Referendum Commission. That: the Referendum Act be amended to make the results of all referenda binding; the Maritime Areas Act be amended to claim for Belize the full extent of rights under international law; the Representation of the People Act be amended to allow Belizeans abroad to vote in the Belize – Guatemala I.C.J. referendum, and to guarantee the integrity of the voting and counting of ballots in an I.C.J. Referendum and; that the current legal opinion be revised and updated to include the latest information and developments on the territorial and maritime claim and that the updated opinion be widely circulated. That the backlog at the Vital Statistics Office, which is being caused due to political interference and mismanagement, be cleared up so that Belizeans applying for their documents can receive them in a timely manner and that immediate action be taken to ensure equal access and treatment be given to all Belizeans. That all persons who have satisfied the requirements for registration as electors be allowed to vote in an I.C.J. Referendum. The immediate removal of Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington as Foreign Minister.”

 

Briceño says that the P.U.P. will ‘remain vigilant and proactive in defending the national interest at this critical time in the history of Belize.’ Hipolito Novelo, News Five.

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Minister Saldivar Says He Long Decided on a “Yes to I.C.J.” http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179192 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179192#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2019 03:47:30 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179192 On Tuesday, cabinet approved a consensus position of a YES vote, which means that the lines are clearly drawn between the two main political parties.  In a release, the government said that the entire cabinet was fully convinced that Belize needs to take the territorial claim by Guatemala to the International Court of Justice.  Today, Minister of National John Saldivar spoke on the government’s position.

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“Yes, I was and for a long time I held the position that going to the I.C.J. is in the best interest of this country. I believe that being the minister of national security and having a unique touch with our border issues, things that are happening at the Sarstoon. I believe that we do need to get a definitive settlement to this problem other times we are going to continue to have these problems and it can escalate, in my view, and become more of a security problem for us on the border if we don’t get this resolved. And by resolving and going to the I.C.J. what we do achieve from that is perhaps to get the Guatemalan Government on board in terms of cooperating with us on the border.”

 

Reporter

“Speaking about the Guatemalan Government, the FCD provided the media with a study that they did in 2017 talking about narco-cattle ranching in our protected forest along the border. Any comments from you as the Minister of National Security?”

 

John Saldivar

“Except to say that many of these things are hidden or away from the public eye in terms of the Belizean public, we don’t seem to place enough emphasis on what is happening out there and there is a lot that is happening out there that is damaging to our environment. A lot of criminal activities are happening out there and we do need to fix it. We do need the cooperation of the Guatemalan Government to fix it and that is why we need to go to the I.C.J.”

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Police Put in Place Protocols to Intercept Drug Plane http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179185 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179185#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2019 03:39:02 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179185 Belize’s name came up recently during “El Chapo” Guzman’s trial in a New York courtroom in relation to cocaine.  In 2018, we reported on an increasing number of drug plane landings across Belize. In most cases, the planes would land and its cargo offloaded before the aircrafts would be torched to destroy any evidence of its contents, which is slipped through unofficial border crossings along the Rio Hondo River. Earlier this year, allegations were made against senior officers of the police department as well as politicians on their purported involvement in the illegal activity. Today, Deputy ComPol Edward Broaster would only say that he will not address anything to do with the allegations, but his attorney will. Broaster, however, did speak on what the department will do to address the clandestine drug plane landings.

 

Edward Broaster

Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations)

“I have no interest in what that so called whistleblower is doing. As a matter of fact, he implicated myself in a certain way and my attorney is dealing with that. I have no interest in dealing with him or hearing from him because I know other things that we are not prepared to reveal at this time. But when it comes to the drug plane landings, we have protocols in place that will see interception and as you can see, we have been successful in intercepting planes in the north, in the south and drugs in the Belize District and we will continue to pursue those goals and objectives that we have in place. And I am sure that we will be able to thwart and intercept some of these plane landings that are occurring in our country.”

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DCP Broaster on Crime Fighting Strategy http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179182 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179182#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2019 03:37:23 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179182 With the shift in the command of the police department, Edward Broaster moved up to the Deputy Commissioner of Police with responsibility for national operations.  Broaster held that position once before as Assistant Commissioner. So what is his strategy going forward with the mandate of the police department to deal with crime?

 

Edward Broaster

Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations)

“I also assume the possibility of crimes, criminal investigation branch as well as operations and community policing. So I have three assistant commissioners of police working with me and our strategy is to ensure that we improve upon preventative patrol, the response to incidents timely and effectively as well as emergency response and improve upon our investigative capability and really and truly deal with the problem solving for which Mister Williams will be boosting CYDP and designate CYDP as a Homicide Reduction Unit so that they can deal with conflict mitigation and resolution and so forth. We will be putting training in place in terms of vehicle stops, defensive tactics and close-quarter combat and train officers in responding to emergency situations.”

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A Live Crime Centre to be Installed http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179180 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179180#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2019 03:36:06 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179180

Edward Broaster

Broaster also spoke about the plan to erect a live crime centre in Belmopan that will be used to address criminal activities on the streets. Several units of the department will be forged together to create this rejuvenated team to track police’s property as well as the location of officers. The Deputy Commissioner says that while the proposal is in the initial stages, it will help to better service the community.

 

Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations)

“We believe that command and control will play a key role in this aspect. He who commands and controls the street, commands and control crime so we want to be the ones to command and control crime and the streets. We have discussed—myself and the commissioner—where we will be developing a live crime centre. As a matter of fact, I am seeking out the architect to put the drawings in place. This will be located in Belmopan and we will be amalgamating different agencies within the Belize Police Department that will be beneficial in terms of analysing the hotspots and we will be able to get tracking devices for our assets and also our resources so that we can directly know exactly where each and every police and police assets are across the country and render professional and effective and timely services to the community.”

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A New Strategy to Tackle Domestic Violence http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179157 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179157#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2019 03:21:30 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179157

Edward Broaster

There were one hundred and forty-four murders in 2018; thirty-eight of those were directly related to nightclubs or bar incidents. The rest was split between gang rivalries and domestic disputes. The latter, in recent times, has gradually become a prevalent motive behind homicides across the country. Earlier this week, there was a meeting between representatives from the police department and the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation as well as the Special Envoy for Women and Children. In an effort to reduce the level of violent crimes as a result of domestic violence, Deputy ComPol Edward Broaster highlights what the department has been instructed to do operationally to address this.

 

Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations)

“He has directed the Belize Police Department to ensure that whenever there is a report of domestic violence to the police that the perpetrator is charged and taken to the court. If the victim goes to court and say I don’t want no court action then that is on their own. But they will not be able to say that the police knew about this and the police didn’t do anything because many a times it is the victim that refuses to cooperate with the police and ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted.”

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EU-CELAC Workshop on Citizen Security Opens in Belize http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179153 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179153#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2019 03:20:33 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179153 The third in a series of the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States workshop on citizen security is being held in Belize. The two-day event opened today at the Biltmore in Belize City and brings together over fifty representatives from countries across Central America, Latin America and the Caribbean. The forum discusses how countries can address transnational crimes and will end with a document on specific needs and actions to be taken. The European Union will then lead the way in offering support to the countries to improve security for citizens.

 

Malgorzata Wsilewska

Malgorzata Wsilewska, EU Ambassador to Belize

“This particular workshop will focus very much on what the EU and CELAC countries agreed as part of the action plan after the summit in 2015. So, what is that the European Union can do to assist countries of Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean to address the huge challenges of citizen security that exists in all the regions? This workshop will focus on concrete steps; of course when you start a dialogue like that you have to identify what the challenges and problems are and what the EU can do to assist. This workshop hopefully will focus on more concrete results in how the countries can cooperate better on cross-border organized criminality. So, investigation, intelligence sharing, border control, joint policing, but also better involvement of local government and civil society.”

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“A lot of the crimes that happen in our country are driven by transnational activities, so it is very important that Belize play its role in terms of information sharing and cooperation with countries of the region and share similar experiences. So, that is the importance of this seminar to us.”

 

Reporter

“What would you hope our police officers who are here take away from this particular event?”

 

John Saldivar

“I hope that we can learn from the experiences of other countries, but perhaps more importantly to deepen the cooperation that we have with the countries of the region and the sharing of information that we can better address the transnational crime issues.”

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Minister of National Security Says ComPol Can Deliver on his Commitments http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179151 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179151#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2019 03:18:52 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179151

John Saldivar

Earlier this week, the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said he intended to reduce the murder count to below one hundred per year. The last time that happened was in 2013 when ninety-nine persons were murdered.  To many, the proposed dip seems overambitious. Today, his boss, National Security Minister John Saldivar was lauding Williams’ approach in policing.

 

John Saldivar, Minister National Security

“No. Absolutely not. We have done it before. If you can recall in 2013, we were able to get the murder rate to below one hundred. I took over as Minister last year in a very challenging time when we were almost twenty-four murders above the 2017 figure. And if you know the figure ending for 2018, we were only one above the 2017 figure which means that the trend has been down in terms of murder and we hope to continue that trend in 2019. So, I don’t think it is over ambitious. I think it is achievable and I think the new commissioner will work hard to ensure that we achieve that.”

 

Reporter

“What has the conversation been like between you and the new commissioner in terms of his strategy going forward in policing this country?”

 

John Saldivar

“I think one of the good attributes of our new commissioner is his hands on approach. He is very much involved in the operational aspect. He is always on the ground and the discussion has surrounded that. How we are going to organize ourselves to be more effective. I believe he has the knowledge; the experience to guide us in that direction.”

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Video Images of a Drug Plane Landing in the North are Leaked http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179081 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179081#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2019 04:04:00 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179081 Two weeks ago, drug plane whistleblower, Edward Vincent Martinez held a press conference in Belize City providing details of illegal landings in the Jewel. While his commitment to a follow-up briefing with evidence has not happened, aerial footage of a suspected drug plane landing has been leaked to a Mexican media house. The aerial footage is shot in a night vision format showing an aircraft landing on a dirt road. Several vehicles arrive at the location, a person alights the plane before at least ten men go back and forth from the aircraft to the parked vehicles. Minutes later, the aircraft would be seen on fire. According to the Mexican news article by Contra Corriente, the landing was back in October 2018 when a plane had landed off the Progresso Road in Corozal. The plane was first seen by a villager on October twenty-fifth and police arrived on the scene to find the plane on fire between the stretch of road between Progresso and San Estevan Village. The article also purports that Belizean authorities were involved in the illegal activity. While these details cannot be confirmed, News Five has been reliably informed that the footage has been enhanced to show police officers from the north escorting the caravan with drugs inside. As we said this has not been confirmed, but today News Five asked ComPol Chester Williams about whether he is looking into this video and evidence. He says that with the police taking on the command of the Joint Intelligence Operation Centre from the Belize Defence Force, they will be able to better intercept illegal plane landings.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, ComPol

“I have not seen the video and if it is that plus TV has the video, I would ask that they share it with us and if it is that the video displays the involvement of officers; if they can be seen in the video being a part of the operations, then by any account, the video is good evidence. We surely will go after the officers once the evidence is there.”

 

Reporter

“I understand now the command is under the police department. It’s going from the B.D.F. to you all. Will this you envision—without casting any type of aspersions—do you think this will create an enhanced response to this ype of narco operations in Belize?”

Chester Williams

“Well I will first and foremost say that Lieutenant Colonel Amoa has been in that job for over two years, which is the tenure of the coordinator. And during the time that he has been there, he had done an exceptional job in coordinating our operations and how we respond to these clandestine plane landings and so forth. And now we have a very active, vibrant officer in the person of Senior Superintendent Grinage going to take over from Mister Amoa as the coordinator. And we expect that the work that Mister Amoa had been doing at JIOC will continue under the tenure of Mister Grinage and whatever we can do to enhance the performance and the results out of JIOC we are going to do on our side. And I am sure that the support from the B.D.F. will continue. After all, we have one ministry, one goal, one objective—to ensure that we reduce the amount of illegal plane landings in our country.”

 

The Progresso landing happened just after Orange Walk’s commanding officer David Chi and police constable Norman Anthony along with Peter Friesen and some Mexican nationals were charged for importing drugs into Belize. This was in connection with a fourteen million dollars cocaine bust in Tres Leguas near Blue Creek, Orange Walk.

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Rogue Cops Will Not be Tolerated http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179080 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179080#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2019 03:55:24 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179080 The new ComPol, Chester Williams has been making his media rounds and connecting with the department he is now heading and depending on to carry out his agenda to reduce the murder count that has placed Belize as one of the most murderous countries. Today, he convened the first senior officers conference at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. Aside from the crime, Williams also has to deal with the rotten apples inside the department, some who are facing criminal charges already for drug plane landings or excessive use of force on civilians. Prior to his promotion, Williams was once at the helm of the Professional Standards Branch and has shown that he has a zero tolerance for corrupt officers in the department. He is taking a tough stand against the rogue cops.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, ComPol

“The important thing is how did we respond whenever we have information and evidence of our officers’ involvement in these sort of things….and I believe that our response over the years have been very good. I can assure you again that under this administration, police corruption, police brutality will be an absolute no, no. If we want to win the support of the public and if we want to be able to get the consent of the public, then we have to police in such a way that the public is going to accept, respect and trust us. And so that is of paramount importance in moving this department forward.”

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No Victimization under ComPol Chester Williams’ Leadership http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179078 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179078#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2019 03:48:32 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179078

Chester Williams

In his exit speech last week, former ComPol Allen Whylie spoke about the undermining of his authority and the rivalry within the department. Whylie ranted that the media and the Opposition had worked against him leading up to his abrupt departure from the force. ComPol Williams says he is taking a new approach to unite the department to award promotions based on merit.

 

Chester Williams, ComPol

“The first task as the commissioner of police is to ensure that I unify the department; there must be unity amongst us if we truly want to achieve the goal of reducing crime. And so there should be no cliques within the department; we speak with one voice. And yes there might have been issues in the past among officers and as the Commissioner of Police, I must ensure that I rise above petty issues. If I cannot do that, then I cannot be a leader. And so I want to sound it, as I have said to my officers before, that under my administration, there will be no victimization. I have been a victim of victimization and it was not a nice feeling. And so I don’t want anybody to endure what I had to endure when I was a victim of circumstances. And so I will ensure that every officer gets what is due to them. And as I said to them this morning, when it comes to promotions, it is not about who are my friends or who I know.  Promotions should be based on merits and officers’ ability to be able to get the job done. If we really and truly want to ensure that we tackle our crime problem, we must ensure that we put the right officers in the right place where they belong where they’ll be able to function to their fullest.”

 

We’ll have more from the Commissioner later in the newscast.

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ComPol Williams Hosts 1st All Senior Officers’ Conference http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179062 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179062#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2019 02:43:28 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179062

Chester Williams

It’s been a while since senior police officers from across the country would converge to be debriefed and plan strategically for the future. Today, the first all-senior officers’ conference under the leadership of the new Commissioner of Police Chester Williams was held at the Police Training Academy. It will now be held twice a year with the purpose for senior officers to discuss issues affecting the department and to find solutions. So, presentations were made by media personnel as well as senior officers holding administrative roles within the department. Williams says that the one hundred and thirty plus officers in attendance were also brought up to speed on the new changes in department’s administration. 

 

Chester Williams, ComPol

“I know that the officers have been seeing a number of movement with senior officers moving here and maybe wondering what is going on and I just see fit that it is right that we bring them together and explain to them the different changes—who is in charge of what and who is in charge of where. And so that’s one issue; to bring them up to date with where we are with that transition. Secondly is where I am explaining to the officers what is the way forward in terms of tacking the crime problem. And to let them understand what is expected of them in order to ensure that we fulfil our mandate in reducing crime, particularly the murders for this year.”

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ComPol’s Overall Crime Fighting Strategy http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179060 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179060#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2019 02:33:35 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179060 One of the biggest challenges for the police department is what seems to be a never-ending battle against crimes, particularly murders. It has been the Achilles’ heel for most commissioners of police though the crime rate continues to spiral. In 2018 alone, the murder count was one hundred and forty-two, the highest since 2012’s one hundred and forty-five homicides. So what is the strategy of the new ComPol to tackle crime?

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, ComPol

“In dealing with the crime problem you have to have that dual approach. You cannot just have one approach in dealing with crime; just go full scale policing and forget the community policing aspect. So as much as we will be out there operationally, the community policing aspect will be there as well to complement the operations to ensure that we still reach out to those persons that we need to reach out to with a view to see what can be done to help them become better persons. And as I’ve said before that when it comes to those persons who are hell-bent about committing crime and want to be involved in gang activities, then we have to find a way to deal with them as well. As a department we cannot and will not allow the masses of our country to be held hostage by the minority; we have to find ways and means to deal with the minorities and get them in line so that we can reduce the crime problem. I’ve explained the three areas that we want to focus on: the gangs, the domestic violence and the nightclubs. And we have to go on these issues if we truly want to have a dent on the murder count.”

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New South Side Commander on Tackling Crime http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179058 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/179058#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2019 02:14:08 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=179058

Daniel Arzu

As we’ve reported, the changes within the command of the police department have seen Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett now in charge of the Special Patrols Unit of the Police Department. He is being replaced by Superintendent Daniel Arzu, who was the Commander of Operation ACT. Now Gillett was known for his strong community policing skills while Arzu is known for his operational skills in tackling crime. Arzu told News Five today that he will use a combination of both approaches to mitigate crime on south side Belize City.

 

Supt. Daniel Arzu, Commander, Region One, Eastern Division

“In terms of myself and strategies, it will continue, we’ll maintained the community policing; we will maintain the connection with members of the public and also continue our engagement on the street to ensure that we reduce crime at all cost. We continue to go into the areas infested by criminal gangs and we’ve been having this mediation; we’ve been actually engaged in a dialogue to minimise activities of crimes. And in so doing, we also have our officers within those areas to ensure that the areas are kept sterile and safe for our residents and that’s tactically what we are doing. And if you notice, the last murder in the city; it’s been a while—I don’t want to be quick to say anything—but what we are doing at this point in time is certainly working and we believe that we’ll continue it all the way through. What worked for the city will certainly work for us.”

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3 South American Nationals Arraigned for ATM Scam http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178998 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178998#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 04:56:17 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178998 Three suspect ATM scammers, all South American nationals, were arraigned in the Belize Magistrate’s Court this afternoon. Chilean Juan Espinosa Saaveria, Colombian Edgar Vargas Vaca and Peruvian Luis Robles Marroquin were in police custody since Thursday. Today, they were charged for preparation of a crime and appeared before Senior Magistrate Patricia Arana. While all three were charged jointly for the January seventeenth incident in the Dangriga jurisdiction, Espinosa was additionally charged for a second count of preparation of a crime for an incident on January sixteenth at the Scotia Bank ATM at Belama in Belize City.  Their attorney, Hurl Hamilton, made submissions for bail; prosecutor Corporal Christopher Smith objected. Senior Magistrate Arana went on to deny bail and remanded the trio to the central prison until March twentieth for the Belize City trial and March twenty-eighth in connection with the crime in southern Belize. In court today, Hamilton argued that his clients were legally here on a one-month visitor’s permit and that the matter could have been dealt with summarily and not on indictment, as stipulated by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

 

Hurl Hamilton

Hurl Hamilton, Attorney-at-law

“These three foreign nationals were picked up on Thursday about one o’clock in Thursday afternoon. They did not receive a charge until late Saturday around seven, eight in the night; that would have been well beyond the forty-eight hours. So my clients’ rights have been breached. So we start off on that premise. But yes, there is charges before the court and all three of them have been charged with preparation to commit a crime. You heard in court that we wanted the matter to be heard summarily. The learned magistrate was of the view that the matter is to be heard on indictment as the D.P.P.’s office is of the few that the matter is to be heard on indictment. I was of the view that because the defendants have the authority to choose which forum, which jurisdiction, it could have been heard summarily. But it is on indictment and the magistrate has refused bail. Preparation of a crime is on the law books. I don’t believe it has ever been used, but I stand to be correct. In my opinion the evidence is weak; preparation to commit a crime is not an offense. For it to be attempt, it has to be more than preparation, but there is an offense preparation of a crime. But we are saying based on what we have from the fact sheets of the police, there is not even preparation. But when we reach at the appropriate stage, all of that is going to be ventilated.”

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Police Were Monitoring South American Nationals and Have Evidence http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178996 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178996#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 04:40:10 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178996 Police say that they are in possession of sufficient evidence to have brought charges against the South American trio. According to police, at least one of the men has visited Belize several times prior to them being arrested and they have been following the activities of the men since last year before making arrests last Thursday. Espinosa, Vargas and Marroquin were travelling across the country in vehicles with Mexican licensed plates. Also recovered from an ATM was a skimmer, used to read and record the magnetic code from a credit card for later fraudulent use. Last Friday, police said they also found blank credit cards. Today, during its weekly press briefing, ACP Joseph Myvett and ASP Alejandro Cowo spoke on the incident.

 

Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“The police department have dealt with several of these cases before in relation to different banks where experts have been brought in to testify so I do not believe that that is going to be an issue. In respect to the charges, the evidence gathered; there was consultation with the office of the Director of Public Prosecution  before the charge was levied.”

 

Duane Moody

“Who was the mastermind behind this operation?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“I will not go into details as to who other than to say that all three persons have been arrested and charged for the same offense.”

 

Reporter

“In this particular case where it was that a certain bank’s name was called, is the police department investigating the angle that these individuals may have scammed other ATMs from other banks in Belize?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Yes we have.”

 

Reporter
“Sir, in the last briefing, did you say how you all found out about it? Did a customer alert the bank and the bank called you all? How did you all find out about this?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“As I had said over the last briefing, this has been an ongoing investigation from since last year.”

 

Duane Moody

“Were they able to get away with any sum of money?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“At this point in time we do not know yet because it will be dependent on those victims who would then go…the bank itself won’t know until victims check their accounts and say this is missing.”

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“The report made by Scotia Bank Belama branch, which occurred on Wednesday where a skimming machine was removed from the ATM machine. On Saturday, police arrested and charged one Alfonso Espinosa Saaveria, thirty-five years Chilean national for the crime of preparation for a crime.”

 

Duane Moody

“Sir this is separate from the one in Dangriga?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo.

“Yes this is another separate incident; this is just related to the one at Belama branch.”

 

Reporter

“Was this through video you were able to identify the suspect?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“That’s part of our investigation.”

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Customs and Coast Guard Seize 14K in Contraband Goods http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178993 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178993#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 04:30:14 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178993 The Customs Department and Belize Coast Guard carried out a joint operation on Friday morning at a contraband hotspot near San Victor Village, up north. The operations netted a big bust coming from Mexico by way of the Rio Hondo River and into Belize. Two skiffs carrying unaccustomed goods of Mexican beers, sodas, flour, footwear, clothing and Tupperware all valued at fourteen thousand dollars were intercepted. Sighting the authorities, two contrabandistas jumped from the vessels and escaped by swimming away, leaving behind their vessels each valued at three thousand dollars.  A release from the Belize Coast Guard says, that the Coast Guard continues to conduct aggressive patrols in the border regions with the Customs to deter illegal activities.

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Coast Guard Finds Gun, Ammo and Weed on Northern San Pedro http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178991 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178991#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 04:25:28 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178991 There was another bust by the Coast Guard in another hotspot. It happened on Sunday morning about eighteen miles north of San Pedro Town. That patrol led to the discovery of a gun, ammunition and marijuana. The Belize Coast Guard says that its Infantry Marine Unit was on routine patrol in Northern Ambergris Caye near the Tranquility Bay area when they found a nine millimeter pistol along with twenty-one live rounds and over eleven pounds of weed.   No one was discovered in the area and the items recovered were handed over to San Pedro Police. The Coast Guard notes that northern ambergris caye continues to be one of the areas of focus of its operations.

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Belize City Shooting Victim Won’t Cooperate with Police http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178986 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178986#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 04:05:11 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178986

Alejandro Cowo

There was a shooting over the weekend on Ebony Street, Belize City for which several persons remain in police custody. But that is as far as it goes because according to police, the victim of the shooting that occurred on Sunday afternoon has refused to cooperate with authorities. Police opted not to comment on what may have motivated the crime, but confirm that additional police have been placed in the immediate area to mitigate any retaliation.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“There were several shots fired at Ebony Street. There was a victim that received a gunshot graze, but that person up to now has not made a report to the police. I will not further comment on that.”

 

Reporter

“Any suspects detained?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“There were several persons that were detained and they are still in police custody.”

 

Reporter

“Any beefing up the police patrol in the area as a result or you feel like its calm now?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“No, there are additional police in that specific area there.”

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Tourists Robbed at El Pilar Archaeological Site by Alleged Guatemalan Bandits http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178982 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178982#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 03:50:03 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178982 Four American and Canadian tourists were robbed at gunpoint of their belongings and money at the El Pilar Archaeological Site in Cayo. The Maya monument is located about seven miles southwest of Bullet Tree Village.  Just after midday on Sunday, San Ignacio police were called out to the site where alleged Guatemalan bandits had attacked the tourists and their tour guide. While an undisclosed amount of money was stolen from all five persons, the Hispanic duo, who carried a shotgun and a firearm, escaped towards the border with Guatemala. Police say that they are investigating the incident.

 

Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“Teddy Waight, thirty-nine years tour guide who at the time was accompanied by four tourists, two Americans and two Canadians. He reported to the police that sometime during the course of doing his tour, he then visited a shed on the compound of the archaeological site where two Hispanic males were seen sitting. As a result, they were approached by these two Hispanic males—one of whom was armed with what appears to be a shotgun while the other was armed with a handgun. Those persons demanded money and as a result the tourists were robbed on monies and other personal belongings. Thereafter the two Hispanic male persons then made good their escape in a trail that leads towards the Belize Guatemalan border. There had always been security in that area. A joint police/B.D.F. composite patrol had always been within that vicinity on patrol.”

 

Reporter

“Is it believed that the perpetrators of this particular crime are from across the border in Guatemala?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“I will not venture to say that other than to say that that is the direction that they left.”

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Cisco Contractor Relieved of $5000 in Armed Robbery http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178980 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178980#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 03:47:32 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178980

Alejandro Cowo

There were only a few violent incidents that occurred over the weekend in Belize City. Robberies continue to be a perennial challenge that the Police Department has been grappling with. Over the weekend, two men were hit by robbers in the city. A contractor from Cisco Constructions was robbed of five thousand dollars in cash as he entered a yard on Bocotora Street, a block away from the Raccoon Street Police Station. Assistant Superintendent Alejandra Cowo says that the Crimes Investigation Branch is looking into whether the crime may have been an inside job.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“About two-thirty p.m., when Mister Dennis Saragosa, an employee of Cisco was about to enter his residence at number 5 Bocotora Street, when he was approached by a male person who placed a gun at him and demanded to hand his belongings. As a result, he handed over a knapsack which contained a sum of five thousand dollars in cash. He is a contractor at Cisco and the cash that he had was to pay the other workers. That address; he normally frequents that address and that is where he normally stays when he comes to Belize City as he is a resident of Roaring Creek Village.”

 

Duane Moody

“Is police investigating whether it is an inside job?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes, we are looking at that angle likewise.”

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Barbershop Robbery; Thieves Escape with $310 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178978 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178978#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 03:45:11 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178978

Alejandro Cowo

On Saturday night police also responded to a robbery on Cemetery Road in south side Belize City. Latino’s Barbershop was targeted by armed thieves who relieved two men of three hundred and ten dollars when they entered the barbershop. No one has been detained in connection with the crime, but police say they are following several leads.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“Sometime after seven-forty p.m., Ezekiel Miranda and another friend of his were inside Latino’s Barbershop located at 114 Cemetery Road. While inside the barbershop, they were approached by two male persons of dark complexion; one who was armed with a firearm. The male person demanded for them to hand over their belongings and he handed over a wallet that contained three hundred dollars in cash and personal documents and the other person handed over ten dollars in cash.”

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Willoughby to Host Land Consultation in Port http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178974 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178974#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 03:30:21 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178974

Philip Willoughby

Philip Willoughby is the U.D.P. standard bearer for Port Loyola going into the 2020 General Elections. Willoughby is getting a head start and hosting consultations with the constituents and working to address a number of their concerns.  Those issues include land, crime, and infrastructure. Today, he told us he has the blessings of the sitting U.D.P. Minister Anthony Boots Martinez. The second of his consultations will look at land issues in the constituency.  He explains how it will work.

 

Philip Willoughby, U.D.P. Standard Bearer, Port Loyola

“Residents from the constituency were voicing their concerns, namely, matters pertaining t o land, crime, lighting, street, and things of that nature; community projects. My program is geared towards that softer community social touch towards the community. It is because of that and what we have done in consultation with various ministries. We will start with Ministry of Natural Resources. I had a prior meeting with the Commissioner of Lands. I gave the Ministry and Minister an overview of what my findings were. We set in creating a schedule whereby the constituent or resident with a particular land issue would come in to me and I would collect the information. I would brief the commissioner and then the commissioner sets a date that I go to the lands office here in Belize City. Upon going there, the information has to be checked and verified because we are not going to embark in anything illegal or unethical to benefit anyone.”

 

That meeting will take place on Sunday, January twenty-seventh at two p.m., at the YMCA on Faber’s Road.

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Willoughby Making Himself Worthy to Replace Boots http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178971 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178971#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 03:20:19 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178971 It has been over two months since he defeated Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, AC Castillo and former deputy mayor Dean Samuels and went on to win his bid for the Port. Willoughby told us that he is working to make his mark on the community to ensure that they see him as a worthy candidate when his name is on the slate in the next elections.

 

Philip Willoughby

Philip Willoughby, U.D.P. Standard Bearer, Port Loyola

“We have been doing community sporting programs. We have been holding the consultations. I continue to walk. My popularity continues to grow as my popularity being on the ground within the constituency now; people are gravitating to Philip Willoughby’s candidacy. I continue to embrace and welcome the people from the constituency.   You see us working with the police department and the ministry of human development and social transformation. We also do the same with the Ministry of Education and National Security. So, it is an ongoing process and it continues to evolve because the dynamics and the uniqueness of certain situations warrant it. So, we are putting our best foot forward and hope that my candidacy will deliver this seat come when the next general election is called.”

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3 Foreigners Detained on Suspicion of Credit Card Scam http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178910 http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/178910#comments Sat, 19 Jan 2019 03:28:30 +0000 gbtv http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=178910 Police have detained three foreigners suspected of credit card scams carried out at ATM machines across the country. Not much is known about the individuals at this time, but police are working with Interpol to gather more information on the suspects. What we do know, however, is that the three men—a Colombian, a Peruvian and a Chilean—were nabbed in Dangriga around three on Thursday afternoon. They were reportedly travelling in two vehicles with Mexican license plates.  They told the police that they rented those vehicles in Cancun, but authorities say this is yet to be verified. Today, ACP Joseph Myvett said that a number of items including a stash of mostly international credit cards, as well as blank cards, a credit card skimmer and parts of ATM machines were found inside the vehicles. ACP Joseph Myvett told the media about the trio in custody, but didn’t say what banks were targeted.

 

Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“On yesterday’s date sometime around three-thirty p.m., Dangriga Police intercepted two vehicles with Mexican license plates. Searches were conducted on those persons, three of whom are foreign nations, one being from Chile, one from Colombia and the other from Peru. Those persons were found with a credit card skimmer and a number of other paraphernalia related to that, including credit cards and blank credit cards. They are detained at this time pending investigation.”

 

Reporter

“Is your investigation showing if they managed to get any monies that they shouldn’t have?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“At this time they are still being interviewed in relation to the investigation since it was late yesterday evening they were found.”

 

Reporter

“Have you contacted Interpol?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Yes we have.”

 

Reporter

“Are they wanted?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Not at this point in time we haven’t gotten back a response.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Sir, do we know if they are in the country legally?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Yes they are.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And you know how long they have been here?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“One of those persons has made several trips to the country, whilst the other seemingly arrived on the tenth of January.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Anything to indicate if they have been charged for a similar crime or committed similar offences in other countries?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“That is what we are working on through Interpol at this time.”

 

Reporter

“Can you say what caused Belize Police to be alerted of their presence here and their possible activities?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Police were following on several information and looking at this issue for some time now.”

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