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Aug 31, 2023

PM Briceño Says Corrupt Employees Will Not Be Tolerated at Lands Department

The murder of Belize City businessman, Ricardo Borja continues to be investigated by police. As we recently reported, a real estate agent from southern Belize, Frik de Meyere was detained by police for questioning in connection with Borja’s murder. Borja called the names of various individuals in a recorded testimony that revealed details of an elaborate land scam allegedly involving several employees at the Lands Department. This recorded statement was given only days before Borja was shot and killed. Today, Prime Minister Briceño was asked if he is aware of the accusations being brought against employees in the Lands Department and if his government intends to regulate the real estate industry. PM Briceño says he does not know much about the case, but he did put those employees at the Lands Department on notice.


Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“I am disappointed we have not addressed this and I say this because when I was the Minister of Natural Resources we were working on legislation for the real estate industry, you could ask Hugo and he can confirm. And just at the point when we were about to introduce the legislation, I resigned as the Minister of Environment, and unfortunately nobody followed up and I have to take some kind of responsibility being that I have not sat down with the Minister of Natural Resources, Minister Hyde to tell him that this is one of the areas that needs to be addressed. But now that has surfaced it is the best opportunity or time to say hey we need to address this and now. So I hope that I will be able to meet with the minister to address this but also address it in Cabinet to give the urgency of passing that legislation.”



“Have you looked at this whole investigation with Ricardo Borja and what has surfaced. In testimonies he said that a real estate company was involved, at least one agent, in untoward activities and he named four people within the Ministry of Natural Resources as facilitating this land scam. IS there an investigation ongoing into that?”


Prime Minister John Briceño

“Well certainly I have not spoken with the Commissioner of Police, I was unable to speak with him and I have also been working on this investment summit. But I will certainly sit down with him and the Minister of Natural Resources, the deputy prime minister and we need to take action. If there is any allegation made against any individual in government we need to be able to act so the country can see we will not tolerate this kind of action and so that public officers understand if they are not following the law they also had to be held responsible.”

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