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Jun 28, 2019

PM Dean Barrow Speaks on Sanctuary Bay Scam

Dean Barrow

Lead scammer Andris Pukke along with several associates, promised clients a lush piece of land equipped with world class amenities on a fourteen thousand-acre property in southern Belize. It’s a scam that played out over the course of several years and according to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the Central Bank received no evidence of the scam prior to the FTC investigation.

 

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Remember they are in liquidation but people who have projects with them, who have loans, who have deposits; the bank is still operating in liquidation. There is no question of the government having to interfere with the liquidation process. I don’t know if I can say much more on that.”

 

Reporter

“That is one aspect of it but in terms of reputational risk and responsibilities that Belizean authorities had. In speaking with people who deal with compliance, they have said, for instance, that the Central Bank. That should have oversight over all banking institutions in Belize. They would have conducted site visits at the bank. How could it have been that for twelve plus years we could not have known what was happening?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“No. Maybe you can talk to the Central Bank but my understanding that is not the duty of the Central Bank to go and conduct site visits of development schemes. What does the Central Bank have to do with that?”

 

Reporter

“In terms of the money laundering and…”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Who reported money laundering to the Central Bank? Where is the evidence to the Central Bank? I’m not at the Central Bank and so I don’t want to go too far. Maybe you should seek an interview with the Governor or some representative of the Central Bank. All I will say is that it’s certainly not the responsibility of the Central Bank to go check on developments projects to see whether developers are I fact moving as far as they say they would in terms of the relationship between the developers and the persons that they have sold investments to. I don’t think that is the job of the Central Bank.”

 

Reporter

“Because there are acts that deal with outlining the authorities of the Central Bank over an institution to be able to be determine if everything is in line.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Financial institutions. Sanctuary Bay is not a financial institution.”

 

Reporter

“But there were employees within AIBL who indicated to management that things were wrong with this.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“About AIBL, I don’t know that complaints were made to the Central Bank about AIBL’s role in Sanctuary Bay. I don’t know. You have to check that with…”
Reporter

“Speaking of complaints you understand that the documentation is extensive but it is coming out now that entities, authorities that victims complain to, the allegation is that you were one of them.  Did you get any complaint?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Absolutely no, and I think you have asked me that before. Absolutely not. You can’t find anything in writing and nobody ever spoke to me about Sanctuary Bay. That is simply not true.”


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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