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Aug 20, 2020

Big Creek Manager is Arraigned for Illegal Tugboat Voyage

Gustavo Carrillo

This afternoon in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, a senior employee of the Big Creek Group was arraigned in connection with the illegal voyage of the tugboat, AJ Ellis.  Gustavo Carillo, the company’s shipping manager, has been charged and taken before the lower court on a single count of abetment to exiting Belize illegally.  The arraignment follows similar charges and legal action that were brought on Wednesday against a pair of public officers who signed off on the vessel’s unlawful trip to Roatan, Honduras.  Twenty-three-year-old Customs Officer Dion Castillo and Robert ‘Bobby’ Flowers were also taken before the magistrate’s court in that jurisdiction where they faced similar counts.  Around midday, Carillo was escorted from his place of work in Big Creek and taken to Belmopan where he was read the charge in court.  Carillo, a longtime employee of the Big Creek Group, was represented by attorney Hector Guerra.  The story broke last Friday following the sitting of the House of Representatives, and since then the police department has wasted no time investigating the matter.  The vessel in question set out for the Bay Islands of Honduras where a barge it was towing had underwent repair.  When it returned after reportedly overstaying its scheduled time, all five crewmen onboard, including captain Elvis Linares, tested positive for COVID-19.  Those sailors are also expected to be charged for breaching the Quarantine Act which required them to remain isolated until the results of their tests had been confirmed.  Carillo was fined two thousand dollars, plus one surety of the same amount.

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