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Jan 25, 2011

Fruit & vegetable vendors dig their own hole and pay in Court

Raul Riviera

There were two cases in court today that were brought by the Customs Department. In the first, two men from Bladen Village in the Toledo District were astounded when they were each fined twenty-four thousand, three hundred and thirty dollars for contraband vegetables and energy drinks. Raul Riviera and Angel Pachan were intercepted as they travelled on the Northern Highway in a Chevy Truck on October fourteenth, 2010. Inside the vehicle, Customs officials found fifteen sacks of cabbage, five sacks of onions, two sacks of carrots, two sacks of potatoes, three cases of sweet peppers and thirty cases of Monster Energy drink.

Angel Pachan

The items collectively valued eight thousand, one hundred and ten dollars and their penalty is triple the market value. Rivera and Pachan were asking for an adjournment to settle out of court with the Customs Department, but that was denied because they had turned down numerous offers to settle and that ship had sailed. The fines are to be paid by July twenty-fourth or in default they will spend two years in prison. Rivera and Pachan were caught by a Customs patrol team that was heading towards Sandhill Village. The officers became suspicious of the truck, which was parked on the side of the road and conducted a search. A third man, Jose Flores, who had exited the vehicle to urinate in the bushes, was never found or charged. Rivera and Pachan claimed the items belonged to Flores so they were charged with Recklessly Acquiring Possession of Uncustommed Goods.

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11 Responses for “Fruit & vegetable vendors dig their own hole and pay in Court”

  1. Robert says:

    High customs duties hurt competition and the Belizean consumer — you and me and everyone else. The country will be better off — although not the protected monopolies and friends of Belize’s oligarchs — with no duties to speak of.

    Transportation would be better with better vehicles imported, food would cost less, and everyone would be more prosperous.

    All duties accomplish is to fix artificially high profits for the Chosen Few, paid from the sweat and toil of the many. It’s really a form of partial slavery — the Chosen Few are GIVEN part of your hard-earned money.

  2. roska says:

    GOOD… and BAD….. Good since customs need to protect the local vegetable producers…..

    bad since that contraband is not much damage compared to the damage done by the large importers of vegetables who are given huge licenses to import vegetables …THAT ARE PRODUCED LOCALLY!!! simply because they are politically connected….. and make huge profits at the expense of the local producers….

    Also….. I bet that instead of contraband… had they been found with firearms and ski masks…. and had hired Dickie to defend them…. they would have been freed over some tachnicality….


  3. Proud Belizean says:

    Tek that….their is a cost to working illegally. Hope they learn.

  4. el alcalde says:

    Thanks 4 all your comments, really thoughtful and to the POINT of real FACTS.
    I wish Customs & all the SUPERIOR ones read your comments. Again I ask myself,what for?
    The SUPERIOR ones just laugh it out,that is so sad. I wish the victims of your powers just run away from this hell you get them into and leave you alone in your heaven,& never come back until you are dead of greed.

  5. SP says:

    Seems to me that is the way it is right now roska. As hurtful & ironic as it may sound it is what is happening right now. And to you Proud Belizean how can you say that, I agree that it is illegal, but why don’t you say anything to those drug dealers, human smugglers, etc. At least these two guys are trying to survive without hurting anyone and I also don’t think they hurt any local producers. Name me a local producer. In fact, most of these things are scarce and availability of more products just evens out the price for the customers.

    Don’t come to us with that ‘cost to working illegally’ BS. If you did not have any means or a job, i’m sure you would be doing the same. There!!!


  6. Jamison B says:

    Visit any Customs Officer home and check their pantry or fridge and you will be surprised at the amount of contraband you will find. LOL

  7. CEO says:

    How did they cross the bridge with that load? Who is checking up on the activities of the custom officers at the boarder?

    This is the root of the problem. That truck should never have made it all the way to Sand Hill. Sounds like if they did not want to releave themselves they would have never been caught.

  8. sabuskii says:

    the morale of the story piss and vegetables dont go together

  9. Earl Grey says:


  10. The People Had Enough says:

    Damn. No wonder people simply say !@#$it, i am go rob a mada!@#$ cause honest living just too hard.

  11. JahKid says:

    Who are the biggest contrabandist? The same customs personnel are filled with contraband items home. The BDF soldiers and Police are witness to that. This Country is going crazy. The people in the courts are crazy drug addicts. They rather murderers than smugglers of food to sell cheaper. These people are guilty of possession of uncustomed goods, yes they are guilty. Check the thieving customs personnel homes and you will find that these fools do not drink soft drinks bottle in Belize. The nicotine heads from customs don’t smoke colonial or independence. Check them all. Big houses and more than one vehicle. A high life standard they live. Find out what their salsries are? Come on Law People. You are stiring fury.

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