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Dec 6, 2019

Revisiting Mason’s Political and Business Connects

William "Danny" Mason

There was a collective sigh this week, when William Danny Mason and four other men, were found guilty of the beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas in June 2016.  Mason, as we have reported, was highly connected and at the time of the gruesome murder of the pastor, many members of Cabinet admitted they had contact and had in fact been at the Belmopan house of the now convicted murderer. News Five’s Isani Cayetano looks back at Mason’s circle of friends.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Convicted murderer William ‘Danny’ Mason awaits sentencing for masterminding the kidnapping and beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas.  But long before the Guyanese/Canadian businessman became infamous for his role in the most talked about crime in recent history, the man born Rajesh Ouelette was hobnobbing with the political elite in Belmopan.  In fact, he was so well-placed in political circles that his sphere of influence also penetrated the Belize Police Department.  A few days after he was arrested and charged along with four others for lopping off Lucas’ head, Prime Minister Dean Barrow weighed in on the optics of the situation on his administration.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: July 20th, 2016]

“Of course I am concerned because naturally there are certain conclusions, wrong conclusions I think, being drawn in consequence.  Look, it’s what I said on the radio just now, this man was a conman.  He represented himself as a fellow good and true.  If ministers did not know any different and were taken in by his pretense at Good Samaritanship that is unfortunate but as long as the acquaintanceship ministers had with him did not result in any kind of impropriety engaged in or sanctioned by ministers we will just have to take the licks that the fact that optically it is not an ideal situation brings.”

 

Caught in the web of deceit and chicanery spun by Mason, was National Security Minister John Saldivar.  Admittedly, Saldivar told the media that he was never duped by Mason.

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security [File: July 20th, 2016]

“I have never been a victim. I do know of at least a couple other persons who may have been, and like I said in my statement on Monday when I became aware last year of some of these things including what was on the internet, that was when I realized this guy was no good and I disassociated myself from him.”

 

However, for a time, Mason had contributed significantly to the financing of the Belmopan Bandits, a football organization owned by Saldivar.

 

Reporter

“He was a contributor to your football club. Did he ever make any contact to you to say, “What’s going on? I contributed to you and you’re not talking to me anymore?”

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar [File: July 26th, 2016]

“I basically disassociated myself from him and I think that speaks for itself. I disassociated myself.”

 

Reporter
“Sir while you’ve admitted that yes there were contributions, can you give us an amount?”

 

John Saldivar
“Well it was over a period of time but I would say in excess of fifty thousand for sure. Semi-pro football is not a cheap venture as you know and he hasn’t contributed for the last two seasons. He is not a part of my organization anymore.”

 

With the conviction of Mason and his four accomplices, Saldivar, in a press release issued immediately after Tuesday’s decision, says his name has been cleared of the scandal surrounding his familiarity with Mason. Among others who rubbed shoulders with Mason was Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber whose congratulatory drink upon assuming that office was poured at Mason’s Intelco Hill residence.  Dangriga Area Representative Frank ‘Papa’ Mena also received a ten thousand dollar contribution from Mason for his bye-election campaign in 2015. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


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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