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Apr 18, 2011

Custom Officers charged for scamming US senior citizen

In the lower court, two customs officers are facing charges following a report by an elderly US National, who claims he was scammed out of thousands of dollars. The accused men, thirty-five year old Linsbert Godoy and thirty-two year old Herbert Matute, were represented by Attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley when they appeared before Chief Magistrate Margaret Gabb McKenzie this morning. They were jointly charged with a single count of Extortion for allegedly attempting to swindle five thousand US dollars from eighty-nine year old Jules Fred Wetekamm. Godoy was read an additional count of Extortion for two thousand dollars that Wetekamm claims he actually paid. The back story is that Wetekamm arrived in Belize on April sixth and declared five hundred silver coins, sixty gold coins and one platinum coin; a total value of three thousand five hundred and fifty US dollars.  He alleges that the Customs Officers told him that he was to pay seven thousand, five hundred US dollars, but that they would reduce it to five thousand. According to Wetekamm, he was then escorted to the main office in Belize City where he paid two thousand dollars and was given half of his coins. The remaining coins were to be handed over on payment of the outstanding three thousand dollars the following day. But Wetekamm grew suspicious and went to the police, whose investigations led them to arrest Godoy and Matute last Friday. Both Customs Officers pleaded not guilty to the extortion charges and met bail of ten thousand dollars by midday. Prosecutor, Sergeant Carol Tucker, has indicated to the court that the matter will be tried summarily in Magistrate’s Court, starting July twenty-second.

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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15 Responses for “Custom Officers charged for scamming US senior citizen”

  1. joe says:

    why not show their pictures they are also thieves. This is how come they have big parties off anybody head.

  2. cell says:

    all humans are thieves so lets not try to point fingers. if the government thief from us who wouldn’t? i would like to find one innocent man on the face of this earth then i would most definitely worship him or her. so let the case be tried before we make judgments.

  3. hmmm says:

    corrupt officers we have in belize bribing people and taking advantage of the power they have
    @joe: their pictures can be seen in 7newsbelize

  4. A constituent says:

    Custom Officers’ salaries are rubbish, yet despite that, they own the most costly rides, and biggest homes in elite areas of the country. No one in government has ever bothered to audit them to avoid international embarrassment of this sort. We lose a lot of revenue due to dishonest Custom Officers.

    On another note, I need to ask these lovely tourists, how they managed a one on one with my PM, after such a short time in the country. I’m a constituent and have been trying to get in touch with the man I’ve voted for since he became the Prime Minister, with no success. I did however managed to talk to someone who works for “Sister B”

  5. Juniore Guerra says:

    UnF..ingBelievable. what a disgrace for Belize. they should throw this 2 scoundrels in jail for at least 5 years. This story might do more damage tothe tourisnt industry than a hurricane would.
    shame shame Shame.

  6. belizeanpride says:

    pics can be seen in the ……. it’s good to have more than one news company so we can read but and see who has the most valiable info and accurate. worst when politics are invovled.

  7. Earl Grey says:

    PRISON FARM………….
    And upon conviction……….Send them to the PRISON FARM FOR 5-7yrs……..


    THEY could learn to grow/FARM FOOD to provide for school lunches……………………..
    which would help with UN-MDG#1………alleviate poverty.

    BUILD A PRISON FARM IN TOLEDO…………..Kolbe too close to Belize City


  8. Elgin Martinez says:

    Had these alligations been made by a Belizean Citizen,Would we have gotten thesame result?Just something to think about.

  9. my 2cents says:

    This is no big secret. They “ALL” do it. Its even worst for people that go to Belize by road because all they do is hustle people of their goods. They always seems to love your stuff more then you do. Ask the car dealers, and if they do not give up the goods,they are automatically put on the shyt list and given higher tax duties. Every department in Belize is a damn rip-off.

  10. Benqueno says:

    Imagine how many others have been robbed in the same manner????…..Lets not forget the Western Border, these crooks are living large at this side of the country….Business people are getting off with less taxes while these Customs Officers are getting their wallet fat…and they are robbing the country and its people from its revenues..As BLUNDY and GALVES!!! while they live a very lucrative life..not only Customs Officers but Immigration Officers as well…

    who have heard of an Immigration Officer giving verbal permission for Guatemalans to enter Belize without any legal document…but yes it happens ask, George Reynalds, Immigration Officers at the Western border…he gives permission to Guatemalans imagine of Terrorist getting permission too…only in Belize and nobody gives a crap about it…but yet when a local Belizean ask for a temporary pass to go to Melchor they refuse you….

  11. Disgusted! says:

    THIEVES!!!! THIEVES!!!! …..!#$%ING THIEVING #@$TARD$!!! I hope the victim does what Americans do best….SUE SOMEBODY’S @$$!!!

  12. Robert2 says:

    @cell, i’m sure most people on this blog would disagree with you, MOST PEOPLE are not thieves, however, I understand your cynicism when so many in authority violate what they profess.

  13. BZNinCALI says:

    Custom Officers have been corrupt for years & while there is an occasional prosecution, until they & their bosses are held accountable, fired & prosecuted consistently, they will continue to use their position to increase their personal wealth or as is usually the case give it back to the businessman by buying crap to impress other people.

    Suing may help but let’s not forget that all he has to do is contact enough news organizations, enough tour promoters & spread the word about the corruption & criminal activity & we will have custom officers sitting on their hands with little to do & eventually no job after the tourist trade dries up.

  14. kellyb says:

    so many people judge these officers as the saying goes never judge a book by its cover ,so i dont see why say mean things before knowing what really should put your selfs in that posion and then we will see,so dont be ignorant and give them a break we are all humans.

  15. wiker says:

    shootz they only want to rip of poor people.. and consider them selves as toppa toppa …..plsssssssss bull ur money dont make u and better that us….. stop d try get rich off pooh ppl head……n wa d look nice outta road , material stuff nuh wa get yo kno wayy….deal with whats important like a family not $$$ stop bathing ur family in money, cuz that all u do get more n more n more money n cah do nuttin useful with it but fancy this n fancy that

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