Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, Miscellaneous, People & Places, Politics » P.U.P. Blasts PM Barrow Over Sanctuary Bay Scandal
Jul 18, 2019

P.U.P. Blasts PM Barrow Over Sanctuary Bay Scandal

The Sanctuary Bay scam is back in the news tonight. First, there is a response from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission which tells News Five that the matter is still under litigation following statements made that there is a settlement after a damming report was made to a U.S. bankruptcy court, throwing not stones, but boulders at the Barrow administration.  The scam is not likely to go away anytime soon as more details emerge. Today, the People United Party called a press conference delving deeper into the scam. Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Atlantic International Bank Limited and the Federal Trade Commission are still in litigation over the multimillion dollar Sanctuary Bay real estate fraud. This was confirmed to News Five by a F.T.C. official via email. After seeking comment and clarification from the F.T.C., News Five was told that,  “F.T.C. does not discuss cases that are currently in litigation.”   The scam has become a thorn in the side of the Barrow government since the U.S. Federal Trade Commission shut down the scam in 2018. However, that thorn has grown deeper, even more so after the F.T.C. filed documents filled with damning allegations against the Prime Minister and members of his government.  PM Barrow denied all allegations levied against him and said that a settlement between A.I.B.L. and the F.T.C. had been successfully negotiated which resulted in the F.T.C. applying to stay of all proceedings against A.I.B.L. for sixty days. The People’s United Party today brought back the issue to the forefront with Party Leader John Briceño calling out the Prime Minister.


John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Our Prime Minister and members of his cabinet as well as other politicians, political appointees are named by the United States Federal Trade Commission of not only being aware but possibly being involved in the biggest fraud and money laundering scheme in the history of the F.T.C.  Never before has any government of Belize has been so disgraced. Never before has the integrity of so many cabinet ministers been called into question. Never before has our Central Bank has been brought into such disrepute. This shocking sensational Sanctuary Bay saga shows a Prime Minister and his collective of closely connected U.D.P. associates and cronies accused of behavior that if not criminal is at best unworthy of the high offices they hold.”


A day after News Five reported on the F.T.C.’s allegations, Barrow called an urgent press conference during which he denied the allegations. Briceño says it was Barrow’s move to safeguard his reputation more than anything else.


John Briceño

“To no one surprise the Prime Minister has shown no concern for these matters. He has hastily called a press conference to try and rescue his tarnished image unsuccessfully. Our nation is on a downward spiral and all our Prime Minister is concerned about is his reputation.”


But Briceño says that the Government should be focusing on protecting the country’s financial services.


John Briceño

“His actions and inactions have placed in jeopardy the entire banking and financial services of this nation. Choice Bank collapsed. Atlantic International Bank crashed as a result of this Sanctuary bay corruption saga. A third bank is indicating that is no longer desires doing business in Belize today. This means that hundreds of millions of dollars can be lost and hundreds of Belizean families hurt as jobs are lost and the financial services industry collapse.”


Collapse is what the Barrow Administration might experience as a result of the Sanctuary Bay scandal says the P.U.P.’s Shadow Minister for Legal Affairs Kareem Musa.


Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Shadow Minister for Legal Affairs, P.U.P.

“I am seeing this as the issue that will bring down this government believe or not. I know the Prime Minister would want for this to end. He says if he never hears of the F.T.C. again he will be a happy man. But I can tell you this, this is only the start. I have three questions for the Prime Minister. Why are you trying to shutdown the media? Why did you settle with the United State Federal Commission? What is in the Sanctuary Bay settlement?”


And while the Prime Minister has pointed out to many of the untruths contained in the F.T.C.’s documents, Briceño pointed out the facts.


John Briceño

“The Sanctuary Bay scandal is a fact. Over one hundred million dollars were swindled. That is a fact. The swindlers used Atlantic International Bank. That is a fact. They sold over fourteen hundred parcels of Belizean land to hunt for hundreds of thousands of dollars each. That is a fact.  U.D.P. Senator Aldo Salazar, appointed by the Prime Minister, is named as representing Sanctuary Bay and Atlantic International Bank Limited. That is a fact. The names of Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, Tourism Minister Heredia and other well connected U.D.P.s are all in the court document. That is a fact.”


And now the P.U.P. wants to see heads roll.


John Briceño

“Mr. Barrow Sanctuary Bay is your U.D.P. government scandal. Your law firm represented them. Your government supported them. You even went so far as to personally help to settle the case against Atlantic International Bank. You can’t run. You can’t hide. You can’t use big words to explain the scandal away. You must now own this. Belizeans demand accountability. Wrong doing cannot be ignored. There must be resignations. The Prime Minister stated that he will take one for his team. Is that the corrupt team Mr. Prime Minister? You and your cronies must not take one for team Belize. For god’s sake leave.”


Hipolito Novelo, News Five.

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.

Advertise Here

You must be logged in to post a comment Login