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Aug 23, 2012

6 containers of suspected pseudoephedrine turn out to be chalk

Florencio Marin Jr.

Earlier this year, a shipment of seven forty-foot containers housing a significant quantity of methylamine hydrochloride, a chemical precursor used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, was confiscated by the Customs Department.  The consignment, valued at an estimated ten billion dollars, was shipped from China to Belize in February to Belize Gardens Consortium, a local company owned by businessman Vernon Cuthkelvin.  Following the seizure, samples of the substance were sent to the United States for testing while the Anti-Drug Unit led an investigation into the matter.  In the interim Cuthkelvin sought representation from attorney Lionel Welch, who indicated that a charge of making a false declaration on a customs entry was the only legal action that could be taken against him.  But the charge never materialized and today Minister of National Security John Saldivar said that the chemicals, after being tested, turned out to be nothing more than chalk.  The investigation, he added, has since been closed.


Florencio Marin Jr., Area Representative, Corozal South East

“Can the Minister of National Security say what is the status of the police investigation into the seven forty foot containers that were shipped to Belize in February containing chemicals which form the base for the deadly drug commonly known as ‘crystal meth’ and whether or not anyone has been arrested or charged in this matter?”


John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“Mr. Speaker, samples sent abroad to the United States for analysis have proven that the container for the Belize Evergreen Distributors and Supplies was found to be chalk, calcium carbonate.  The three containers that were declared as titanium dioxide for Belize Gardens Consortium was found to contain chalk, calcium carbonate which was found to the front of the container, while samples taken from the back of the container was found to be all methylamine hydrochloride which is a precursor for the production of methamphetamine.  The other three containers which were declared as ammonium sulphate were found to contain some ammonium sulphate from the samples taken from the front while the samples taken from further in the back of the containers were found to contain methylamine hydrochloride.  Mr. Speaker, calcium carbonate, ammonium sulphate, and methylamine hydrochloride are not prohibited substances under the current laws of Belize therefore there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the person or persons had committed or is committing any offence under the laws of Belize.  As a result, there were no arrests made and the police investigation into this matter is considered closed.”


The “chalk” was destroyed, reportedly with assistance from the US. 

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 “6 containers of suspected pseudoephedrine turn out to be chalk”

  1. it's just that simple says:

    who made the money?
    Is this like the coke plane in Toledo?
    here today, gone tomorrow.

  2. it's just that simple says:

    1) front container was found to be chalk, calcium carbonate.
    2) the back of the container was found to be all methylamine hydrochloride which is a precursor for the production of methamphetamine.
    3) methylamine hydrochloride is not a prohibited substance under the current laws of Belize.

    >>>Therefore no crime!

    But making a false declaration on a customs entry is the only legal action that could be taken.
    But the charge never materialized.
    The investigation has been closed.
    >>>Therefore no prosecution!

    Time to go bust somebody for a stick of weed, be tough on crime, and make the news that crime is under control.

  3. Rod says:

    All a cover up where is the proof show us the proof this whole gov. Making money off drugs but yet since zabaneh no black he gets no reprieve it’s a race war in reverse going on people unu Betta wake up this pm is a bigot biggest racist there is if you no black you cant get job if you no black you go tha jail for a piece of happy cow cheese while if aw black man commit murder he get off check it out it’s in the open now.

  4. Storm says:

    This story seems to be reported incorrectly — Hon. Saldivar does NOT say it was all chalk [calcium carbonate]. According to him, the material in the front, that intended to be seen by the authorities, was chalk, while hidden behind it was a larger amount of methylamine hydrochloride.

    What was the purpose of that chemical, and why did someone feel it was necessary to conceal behind chalk?

    I hope some enterprising reporter, here or elsewhere, will follow up on this story. So far we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.

    And if the chemical can be used to manufacture illegal drugs, why is it not controlled, restricted, or banned by GOB?

  5. Al says:

    I believe that there is an illegal use for all that so called chalk. I would like to see the report from the American lab for my self and I would have to see just what they sent to be tested and who took the samples. Sorry I just dont know who to trust in this country anymore. I cant believe one country so small could hold so much liers and cheats, God must be holding his head in his hand with grief over the way this rich country is suffering because of mans stupidity.

  6. subKonshus says:

    “Methylamine hydrochloride which is a precursor for the production of methamphetamine.”

    What exactly is methamphetamine?

    Answer: Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant drug that is similar in structure to amphetamine. Due to its high potential for abuse, methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug and is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled. Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol and is taken orally, intranasally (snorting the powder), by needle injection, or by smoking.

    Given the above facts, it is for good and obvious reasons why this substance was not delcared on the customs entry form. Instead, the containers were half-stacked…in front was chalk and in the back was the “real deal”. This was done just in case customs did a check inside the containers, they would infact find the declared substance in the front of the container, hopefully they would not check the back of the containers to find the undeclare substance. But wait a minute Mr. Minister Sir, if Methylamine hydrochloride is not an illegal substance, why did Mr. Cutkelvin try to sneak it in the country? Why did a vein almost burst in his head when the substance was found? Maybe Mr. Cutkelvin should have been the PM’s financial advisor, because while his government is unable to generate 40 million to meet debt payments, he can afford a 10 billion dollar shipment of “legal” chemicals that he does not think is worth declaring….Just imagine, undeclared items translates to an attempt to evade custom duties and other taxes, but the high command of our National Security, in all their wisdom and wits, decides to close the investigation. Just 2 days ago an elderly street vendor was fined $10,000 for 205 grams of weed. Everytime time a member of this administration opens their mouth, the world gets belly cramps from uncontrollable laughter!!! Mr. Saldivar, you make dumb look stupid…..You give idiots a bad name….

  7. Here we go again says:

    UDP government protecting Pedophiles and drug smugglers because they are black and UDPs. racism at its worst, Cutkelvin hangs with Finnegan and BQ pitts at farmers market everyday.

  8. ceo says:

    Don’t be fooled no one will ship that much chalk! The stuff is burried in there some where.

  9. Bo says:

    Its obvious Rod and Here we go again is the same person
    and rreally racist

    If u no like black man then you are in the wrong country papa

    best thing u go da Alaska or somewhere other than here



  11. dunfedup says:

    Looks good on our ultra-intelligent minister of police and security. He is as inept as any human can get. How he thinks we will buy this bullshot of a story about chalk in front and drugs in rear? Why was the stuff destroyed when it was not illegal? How can Cuthkelvin not be charged with such an egregious attempt to bring stuff into the country that can not benefit anyone? If the stuff was not what was ordered then can he explain what he needed all the “fertilizer” for when he is not involved in large scale agriculture? Minister, you have to answer some of these type of questions in order to not look even less smart than we already know you are. Please!

  12. hero says:

    One wonder`s who or where those samples got switch.

  13. Mario says:

    How the hell will there be chalk in a container… There is something fishy going on here. da fool d talk but da no fool d listen… UDP Government is covering up something here..

  14. BMNJ says:

    If methylamine hydrochloride is a legal substance and he was to declare that item the way it should have been done, then there are two questions that come into my mine.
    1) Is a permit necessary in the first place to bring in those potentially ‘harmful’ substances?
    2) Under what category would those substance be under as relates to import duty? And what percentage?

    If charges were to levy against Cuthkelvin, which is three times the value of the undeclared customs goods, Barrow should not have a problem to meet the payment of the super bond coupon. I also agree to a certain extend as to what ROD had always said. Let it be a Spanish, Chinese, or white person, the pressure from GOB to rig money out of them would be unbearable and merciless.

  15. Hatari says:

    These corrupt fools must really think that the rest of us are really stupid. The people of Belize better start waking up and put a stop to this BS. “Restore Belize” they shout but as they continue to rob the rest of us blind. Now they want to screw over our creditors so Belize will remain a 3rd world banana republic in the eyes of the rest of the world.

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