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Jul 10, 2019

F.I.U. Was Warned of Possible Real Estate Scam

Joy Grant

One of the most serious allegations made against the Barrow administration is that there was knowledge of the scam prior to the F.T.C.’s actions to halt it. According to the F.T.C., the Central Bank of Belize knew about the fraud, but did nothing. It says that in 2016, Glen Ysaguirre, the then Governor of the Central Bank, warned Joy Grant, who was the head of the F.I.U. at that time, that there was strong evidence of massive fraud and money laundering occurring through this project.

 

Joy Grant, Governor Central Bank

“I looked up and I found that an email was sent by then Governor Ysaguirre and I was at the F.I.U.  That is dated twenty-sixth of September. Four days after that, I took up my appointment as Governor of the Central Bank.”

 

Reporter

“The allegation is that the Central Bank did not act on the fraud that was talking place. The fraud that was taking place had to do with the banking industry.”

 

Joy Grant

“I want to go back to the memo. What the memo, Mr. Ysaguirre said that there may be. He did not say that there was fraud and that is not said in the document. I want to make clear to every that he said that there may be, he did not say that there was fraud.”

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The notion that somehow the Central Bank of Belize ought to have stopped this fraud or the government of Belize ought this fraud makes no sense to anybody who is familiar with our system. This is not an allegation of criminal conduct such as that would get us to move the police authorities to bring charges. This is a civil complaint. If you pay a man to build a house and he doesn’t do so, you take him to court. You don’t go to the police to get back your money. There is no kind of criminal fraud alleged. So the whole premise that, dealing firstly with the Central Bank, the Central Bank ought to have stopped what was happening from happening again I repeat makes no sense. The Central Bank is the regulator of financial matters and financial institutions, not real estate development. What would have been the authority for the Central Bank? What could the Central Bank have done?”


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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