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Oct 14, 2022

Anti Trafficking Officer Called to Testify in $3.1 Million C.I.B.L. Hearing

Dean Barrow

Inspector Gian Young, a member of the Belize Police Department’s Anti Trafficking in Persons Unit was the first witness to take the stand. According to Young’s testimony, on October sixth, the joint agency taskforce comprised of immigration officers, labor personnel, and members of the Belize Police Department, conducted a search on the company’s administration building which houses offices, as well as bedrooms for employees that are of Chinese nationality. Inspector Young bore witness that several identification documents, including Chinese passports, birth certificates, immigration workers permits, Belize police records, and COVID-19 vaccination cards, over two and a half million dollars in Belize currency and thirty thousand dollars in U.S. currency were discovered inside a safe in one of the bedrooms. He further testified that, a second money box in a separate room was searched where an additional four hundred thousand dollars in Belize currency and just over quarter of a million dollars in U.S. currency was discovered. When Inspector Young inquired about the funds, a company representative present at the time reportedly stated that the banks does not accept more than fifty thousand dollars a day, that the money is the property of the company, and the identification documents were locked away for safe keeping.


Dean Barrow, Attorney-at-law

“He did say that he asked about the document, the identification documents, passports in the safe and one of the personalities of the company said that those documents are there for safe keeping. There is nothing to suggest that the documents were being held in safe contrary to the wishes of the owners of the documents. Some of these people came here as engineers from a sister company in China, technical people, to oversee the installation of equipment and such. They are strangers to Belize; you can understand they don’t want to be moving around with their passports. They live on the compound, so it is perfectly logical, natural that they say let us keep our documents in a safe place. So, I don’t see that that is at all suspicious or incriminating.  Note though that while the F.I.U. has added these grounds as basis as an additional basis for wanting to hold on the money, there is no evidence at all that has been produced to suggest that there is any merit in those grounds. Ask this question, people have been charged. They have been charged with working without permits. They have been charged with presumably other immigration offense, because the charging authorities are saying we have material to sustain those charges. No charges have been brought with respect to anything such as money laundering, such as retaining proceeds of crime, such as tax evasion, none.”

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