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Sep 14, 2020

B.T.L. Chairman Under Investigation for Financial Abuse

Nestor Vasquez

For days, there have been reports that the B.T.L.’s credit card has been misused by B.T.L. Chairman Nestor Vasquez who has been at the company since it was taken over by the  government. A figure of four hundred thousand dollars has been thrown around. Vasquez says it is merely an allegation at election time. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the following report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

B.T.L. Chairman Nestor Vasquez is facing serious allegations concerning the purported misuse of the company’s corporate credit card.  Vasquez has been the chief presiding officer at Belize Telemedia Ltd. since it was nationalized by the Barrow administration in 2009.  Over the years, it is has been alleged that he racked up a bill of roughly four hundred thousand dollars in personal expenses that reportedly were to have been refunded to the company.  An article that began circulating over the weekend states that an investigation into Vasquez’s financial transactions using the corporate credit card is underway; however, News Five could not confirm whether this is true.  The persons we spoke with earlier today did not confirm or deny a probe into Vasquez’s dealings with B.T.L. money.  What we have seen are electronic transactions for at least five payments, four of which were conducted in Belama and another from Macy’s in Dade Land, all under Belize Telemedia Limited.  Likewise, the news item refers to company properties being transferred to Vasquez’s personal interests, as well as an advance on a two-year advertising contract being paid to Channel 7, a television broadcasting company which he owns.  News Five has made several attempts to verify the information by reaching out to Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Chief Executive Officer Audrey Wallace and B.T.L. C.E.O. Ivan Tesecum, all calls and text messages went unanswered.  When we spoke by phone with Vasquez this morning, he casually dismissed the query by saying that they are merely allegations being made since it is an election year.

 

On the Phone: Nestor Vasquez, Chairman, B.T.L.

“You said the right thing; it’s an allegation that remains.  I have nothing to say right now.”

 

Reporter

“But can you…”

 

On the Phone: Nestor Vasquez

“I’ll deal with it later on.  I’ll deal with that later on.  Remember, this is election time and the word allegation is in whatever that was released. Thank you, bye.”

 

Late this evening confirmed verbatim, “As soon as the Board of Belize Telemedia Limited became aware of allegations of irregularities in relation to the use of the company credit card by the Chairman of the Board, a comprehensive investigation was launched. The Board assures the shareholders, employees, and general public that appropriate action will be taken to safeguard and protect the interest of B.T.L.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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