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Aug 17, 1999

Santiago Castillo Group pledges $100,000 to police

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This morning as a young woman stepped out of Barclays Bank with a deposit bag in hand, two young men snatched the bag and ran down the street. What the thieves didn’t know was that she had already made the deposit and had picked up an empty bag. Unfortunately most businesses targeted by criminals are not so lucky and lose thousands of dollars in cash and merchandise during break-ins or hold-ups. The situation has prompted the Santiago Castillo Group Limited to pledge one hundred thousand dollars towards the Police Trust Fund. Anuar Flores, Managing Director of the Castillo Group says the gift is in response to a letter from Jorge Espat Minister of National Security outlining his plans for the Police Department and asking the company for its assistance. Flores says the Board decided to give to the Fund in four separate donations of twenty five thousand dollars each towards equipment and other necessities. Flores says the company recognizes that the police play a major role in creating a safe business environment. Since the Castillo Group plays a significant role in the Belizean economy, they were all too willing to give towards the cause. The only thing the company asks is that they be represented on the board that will soon be established to manage the Police Trust Fund.

Anuar J. Flores, Managing Dir., Santiago Castillo Group Ltd.

“We had not really contemplated on making specific request from the Minister or ministry responsible. What we did ask is for us to be represented or at least have one representation on a Board of Trustees in order that we may be able to participate in that area as well as in deciding how the funds will be used.

It’s difficult; it is a difficult job that the Police Department has. As a matter of fact, yesterday one of the salesmen from the company came in and reported to me that he was almost mugged yesterday. Riding on his motorcycle, he was almost knocked off in order for his bag to be snatched off. So the dangers are out there and I think we need more policemen to be on patrol especially in areas where high business activities take place. But then it is also an area where you have a lot of these people hanging around looking for a way to get one over you.”

In a brief ceremony in Belmopan on Thursday, August twelfth, the first installment of 25 thousand dollars was made on behalf of Maria Addy Castillo, owner and Chairwoman of the Santiago Castillo Group Limited. Minister Espat says the ministry is pleased to receive the substantial donation to the fund and hope that it inspires other businesses to view Belize’s law enforcement agency as worthy of their investment and confidence. The Police Trust Fund aids in the purchase of equipment, uniforms and even gun holsters for the police.

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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