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Aug 20, 2020

ComPol Stands by Charge Brought Against Public Officers at the Big Creek Port

…but what does Commissioner of Police Chester Williams have to say about the Customs Department’s comments on the charge?  Williams says he stands by the charge brought against Dion Castillo and Robert Flowers.  He says that the officers were responsible to ensure that the vessel’s purpose of travel was legitimate.  Williams also notes that while the vessel travelled sixteen times for cargo purposes, the July twenty-fifth trip was the vessel’s first voyage to Roatan since the S.O.E. Williams strongly believes that the officers should have been diligent in flagging that destination and verifying the purpose of the trip.


On the Phone: Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We are of the view that the charge was merited based on the view that the S.I 94 of 2020 which was signed by the Minister of Health. It is clear even from what the comptroller of customs said yesterday that the voyage on which the AJ Ellis went to Roatan Honduras was not one that was for cargo and for sure it didn’t take anyone to seek medical attention and it didn’t take anyone for repatriation. The AJ Ellis went to seek repairs and so from our stand point, the authorization given to the AJ Ellis by the different government agencies including customs was contrary to the spirit of the SI and therefore those authorizations shall be deemed in law to be null and void. So, it is on that basis these public officers were charged to facilitate the AJ Ellis to exit the country of Belize illegally.  While yes the comptroller of customs said that the AJ Ellis is a compliant vessel that has made eighteen [sixteen] prior voyages to Honduras prior to this one in question, may I state that neither of those voyages was to Roatan. And Roatan wouldn’t be a normal place for the AJ Ellis to go and so when they said they were going to Roatan that itself should have raised a red flag to them. And to use the excuse that the company didn’t tell them the reason for the voyage, should not be entertained. I would think that as a prudent public officer considering the time we are in and the fact that the regulation clearly outlines reasons for which one can depart or enter the country, you are going to ask a very important question – what is the reason for your departure and what is the reason for your entry?”

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