Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Crime » Criminal Investigation into Misappropriation of Unemployment Relief Funds
Jul 16, 2021

Criminal Investigation into Misappropriation of Unemployment Relief Funds

A criminal investigation is underway by the Belize Police Department to determine whether anyone is legally responsible for the misappropriation of public funds from the Labor Department. Those monies were disbursed via deposits into the accounts of workers who had lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many of those who qualified for government assistance did not receive the biweekly cash deposits and top-ups. That financial aid was administered through the Unemployment Relief Program.  A subsequent review carried out by the Audit Department reveals that the monies were embezzled through various means by employees of the Labor Department who were entrusted with carrying out the disbursements. News Five reached out to Chief Executive Officer, Valentino Shal from the Ministry of Labor.  In responding to our query, Shal said, “while this matter occurred before we took office, we are taking it seriously.  Since receiving the Auditor General’s report, we have already taken disciplinary measures against some of the staff members who were involved. Others are being investigated. The matter has been reported to the police and they are conducting a criminal [investigation] on their side. We are waiting for the police to conclude their investigations after which criminal charges will be laid once the evidence warrants it.  Those officers who betray the public trust must be held to account.”


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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed