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Aug 21, 2020

Belize Port Authority Slams Commissioner of Police over Baseless Arrest

Sherlett Martinez

An employee of Belize Port Authority is among several public officers to be arraigned in connection with abetting the departure of a crew of five sailors onboard the tugboat AJ Ellis, which left for Honduras on the weekend of July twenty-fifth.  Vessel Traffic Officer Keeron Young was charged criminally for his alleged role in the voyage of the vessel outside of Belizean waters for repairs in Roatan, Honduras. Today, the Belize Ports Authority, like the Customs and Excise Department earlier this week, criticized the Belize Police Department, as well as Commissioner Chester Williams for the charges brought against Young, whose boss says that he did nothing wrong in the execution of his duties.


Sherlett Martinez, Assistant Port Commissioner, Belize Port Authority

“It was the twenty-fifth of July that Mr. Young was on duty.  He works right here in Belize City, he doesn‘t work out-district.  I have to say that the situation with regards to this vessel, the vessel is in Big Creek and he works out of this office in Belize City.  So Mr. Young received the document electronically, followed our procedures.  As I said, he checked the documents; this is a special situation with this particular vessel.  This particular vessel normally leaves empty from Belize.  So when we got their notice of departure per se, the sections that are listed here for cargo discharge in container tons and cargo loaded at the port, cargo loaded in tons, these [pieces] of information is always nil when this vessel departs because their mode of operation is they depart from Belize empty, they go to a particular port in Honduras or Guatemala, they get their load and they come back into the country. We are hoping not because we are asking the Commissioner of Police if he can withdraw these charges because from our point of view they are baseless.  The officer did nothing wrong.”

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