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Jan 17, 2020

P.U.P. Goes in on Lev Dermen Scandal

Lev Dermen

The inaugural sitting of the House of Representatives for the New Year 2020 got underway this morning in Belmopan, amid a number of scandals wracking the Barrow administration.  While several bills were tabled for readings in parliament, the gist of today’s house meeting was reserved for the adjournment where the opposition People’s United Party went in on government for the Lev Dermen affair, as well as the National Sports Council and Julian Cho Technical High School audits.  P.U.P. Leader John Briceño wasted no time going in on the Lev Dermen scandal which purportedly involves two U.D.P. government ministers receiving bribes from the imprisoned Armenian/American businessman dating back to 2013.  Like he did in his press conference on Wednesday morning, Briceño once again demands the names of those accused ministers who are yet to be called out in a pending testimony in the Utah courts.  Aside from that issue, the Opposition Leader also broached the issue of corruption within the Immigration Department dating back to Wong Hong Kim and the Penner scandal.


John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“It was not the P.U.P. that broke the story on Lev Termendzhyan, I hope I get it right because you get all kind of strange names from Immigration, or whatever his name may be.  It was actually the media that broke this story.  This story is now public, now what is really important and what Belizeans are really interested in is that they want to know who are the two unnamed ministers that are accused of bribery that belong to the U.D.P. cabinet.  Who are these U.D.P. ministers, or who are the U.D.P. officials that have been mentioned, Mr. Speaker?  What Belizeans want to know is the massive corruption that was and could possibly still be happening in the Department of Immigration.  Belizeans want to know about the kinds of associations that U.D.P. ministers have been or are having with characters who are being locked up or are being accused of criminal activities; characters like the famous Wong Hong Kim, remember him?  And Pukke from the infamous Sanctuary Bay scandal, now we yet have another scandal where the issue of bribes and kickbacks appear in court documents.  This is not hearsay or yerisoh, this information is coming from evidence to be presented in U.S. courts.  Now Mr. Speaker, in his press conference the prime minister said that he always acts in the face of these issues.  I am happy to hear that he announced today that Herman Longsworth, who is the, not honorary, is the Consul General in New York, fat salary, living quite well in New York, that he is going to call him in so that Mr. Longsworth can explain this, over a hundred plus thousand dollars that was said in the report. Belizeans are well aware Mr. Speaker, that we have ministers and government officials who are not only associating openly with murderers and criminals like Danny Mason and Lev Termendzhyan, and please forgive me if I mispronounce the words, but they are directly involved in these scandalous and corrupt behavior with utter impunity because they suffer no risk of criminal prosecution or sanctions in Belize under the leadership of this hypocritical U.D.P. government.”

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