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Feb 11, 2020

Will Charges be Levied Against Negligent Party?

According to Ports Commissioner Merlene Bailey-Martinez, charges can be filed by both the Belize Port Authority and the Department of Environment in incidents like this, but the D.O.E. normally takes the lead when it comes to environmental issues. According to the Harbours and Merchant Shipping Act, charges for negligence in causing the destruction to the environment can be levied against the owners of the Samadhi. Of note is that there is a formula used by the regulatory agencies, in this case the D.O.E., to determine the fine that would be imposed against the negligent party. 


Merlene Bailey-Martinez

Merlene Bailey-Martinez, Ports Commissioner

“Our Belize Coast Guard is in touch with their counterparts in Roatan and Captain Bennett, the commandant of the Coast Guard…I have spoken to him and he says that his people are standing ready in the event we levy a charge so that we can communicate that to the authorities in coast guard. We have a couple of options. If the vessel comes back into our territorial seas, we can detain the vessel in the event that we have the charge for it or we can communicate the charges to the owners of the vessel about the charges and the fines and then we take it from there.”


Duane Moody

“The owners have been contacted; at least that’s what I understand.”


Merlene Bailey-Martinez

“I did not contacted them directly; I have spoken to the shipping agent that brought in the ship and I have apprised her of the situation; that we are conducting this investigation and depending on where this investigation leads us that there may be some legal action taken against the ship. But that is as far as I know. I believe that she would have communicated to the appropriate parties regarding that.”

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