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Sep 16, 2020

Are B.T.L. Profits Really Down?

The meeting of the House of Representatives proceeded in Belmopan today. A highlight of the session came on adjournment when the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño, rose to speak on the fiasco at Belize Telemedia Limited where there are allegations of the misuse of the corporate card by former Chairman, Net Vasquez.  First, Briceño questioned the profitability of the national telephone company whose golden shares are held by government, in light of the Vasquez fiasco.  While the Barrow administration paid over half a billion dollars for B.T.L., seven years after it was compulsorily acquired, the value of the company has plummeted to less than half of that dollar amount.  To exacerbate the company’s financial situation, it is expected that at the next annual general meeting, a paltry sum of ten million dollars will be announced as the profit for the fiscal year 2019-2020. Briceño set the stage of the allegations as the tip of the iceberg of the cesspool of corruption.  He says B.T.L. has been reduced to a white elephant, worth little with profits dropping yearly.

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“In 2019, this is the audited statements of B.T.L., in effect it’s stating that B.T.L. is only worth two hundred and one million dollars.  From a value of five hundred and fifty-seven million that was paid for in 2016.  In 2019, they are saying that the value of the company is two hundred and one million dollars.  In less than three years, B.T.L. lost approximately three hundred million dollars in value.  Now hopefully sometime this year, B.T.L. will announce the profits for the 2019-2020 financial year, the financial year ends in March and I have been reliably informed that B.T.L. will announce profits of only around ten million dollars.”

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