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Feb 15, 2019

FECTAB Decries Major Tour Operators for Suing Government

David Almendarez

As many as five individual lawsuits are presently before the Supreme Court where various tour operators are taking legal action against the Government of Belize via the Department of General Sales Tax.  Jaguar Ventures, Hugh Parkey’s Belize Dive Connection, Chukka Belize and Daylight & Dark Night Cave Adventures have all filed suit, following a recent amendment to the GST Act.  That piece of law was revised on the heels of a judgment handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice in favor of businessman David Gegg, proprietor of Cruise Solutions Limited.  Interestingly, independent tour operator Yhony Rosado has been facing a similar issue with that government department, as far as his tax assessments are concerned.  One would think then, that the CCJ’s decision sets a precedent for Rosado to follow suit.  While it does set an example for later action, the pioneering tour operator is not going after the GST Department.  In fact, the organization to which he belongs, FECTAB, is taking aim at the claimants in this new round of litigation.  This morning, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize held a press conference during which that very issue was on the table.


David Almendarez, President, FECTAB

“A couple months ago, a local operator won a judgment to get back some tax money from people from the Government of Belize.  Lo and behold, the biggest vampires in the building, the people who sucker us everyday [and] make the most money in the business, namely Chukka Tours, Dark Night Belize, and unu could sue me if unu want.  Unu could sue FECTAB if unu want but di truth da di truth.  As soon as they see that, money which they have already calculated in good faith to give our country, dehn wahn tek it back.  The tour operator of the year, Chukka Belize, wahn tek back all di money ih done give fu we poor country and these are the things we need to call out on our government because Chukka win tour operator almost every other year.  It’s a scam and we are a part of it. We di tell Chukka, we di tell Dark Night ih stink dat yo di try tek back money from fu we country weh yoh done give eena good faith.  Fu we poor Belize weh unu done mek millions offa, unu wahn back unu lee money weh di help our economy.  I’d like to ask Mr. Rosado, you di sue back di government fi your money?  …We weh love fu we country get hammered every day.  Mr. Rosado noh have no intention ah get back fu he money.”

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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