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Jan 6, 2021

Ex-U.D.P. Minister Rene Montero in Equipment Scandal at Ministry of Works

Rene Montero

Former Minister of Works Rene Montero may be facing criminal charges in the days ahead.  The three-time U.D.P. Cayo Central Area Representative is the subject of an ongoing investigation being carried out by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing.  It is alleged that under his tenure as head of that government department, equipment, fuel and human resources from the Ministry of Works were used to develop private properties, including his farms.  Prior to the November eleventh general elections, the media had reported on the use of government assets on his properties.  Since taking office, Infrastructure Minister Julius Espat has launched a probe into those allegations and today came forward with evidence which he says supports the claims made by several witnesses.  According to Minister Espat, there was collusion between Montero and C.E.O. Errol Gentle.

 

 

Julius Espat

Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development

“The Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing has investigated and compiled evidence in support of allegations that former minister Rene Montero engaged in the prolonged abuse and misuse of public resources for his private gains.  These allegations have been in the public domain for many months and were in fact the subject of a news broadcast by Plus TV from well before the general elections.  The allegations do not originate from me or my ministry.  We have, however, chosen not to ignore them but instead to take action on them.  The ministry has interviewed and secured sworn statements from multiple workers directly involved, confirming that Minister Montero used heavy equipment, personnel and fuel from the ministry to develop his private farms over some three and a half years at significant expense to the public.  Abuse was flagrant and facilitated by public officers of the Ministry of Works at the highest level, as a form of ministerial entitlement.  As bad as the conduct of Mr. Montero appears, Minister Montero could not have engaged in such prolonged abuse of public resources without the assistance and connivance of his Chief Executive Officer Errol Gentle and others in the public service.”


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