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Jan 21, 2014

The fleecing of the Belize Airports Authority….over $30,000 paid on behalf of Edmond Castro

Minister of State Edmond ‘Clear the Land’ Castro seems to be in the middle of one scandal or the other. Just a couple years ago, Castro was fired by Prime Minister Barrow for his involvement in a land hustle. He did political penance and was welcomed back into the fold – and then was named in a diplomatic incident accused of making unwelcome advances to a Taiwanese chaperone while on an official visit to that country. Shortly after, he was accused of large scale and very lucrative visa facilitation by an individual who allegedly paid him two thousand dollars per visa. And in late 2013, documents surfaced showing that Castro was recommending visas for Chinese nationals on a weekly basis. Now Castro is under fire again, this time for checks paid out by the Belize Airports Authority. Mike Rudon has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

The Belize Airports Authority operates under the Department of Civil Aviation, which is listed under the Ministry of Transport, run by Minister of State with responsibility for transport, Edmond Castro. When we checked the official website, the BAA is said to be responsible for managing aerodromes, or small airports, for public use. So why is the BAA writing checks to Edmond Castro? And why is the BAA writinig checks which a reliable source says are to pay debts incurred by Castro?


Nine checks have surfaced so far. Two are to Bowen and Bowen. The first is for five thousand dollars and the second is for five thousand, three hundred and twenty-one dollars and sixty six cents. According to the source, both checks were used to pay for beverages at political functions hosted by Castro.


Then there are three checks made out to Edmond Castro – one for four thousand dollars, one for nine hundred dollars and the last for five thousand, one hundred and fifty-six dollars and fifty-five cents. The last of those, it is alleged, was given to Castro to defray expenses for the burial of a family member.


And then there is a check made out to David Coye Funeral Parlour in the sum of three thousand, three hundred and thirty-seven dollars and fifty cents, which we are told is related to that very same burial expense. And one made out to Ordonez Bike Shop for one thousand, nine hundred and thirty-seven dollars. Edmond Castro manages a cycling team, and our source claims that was to pay for repairs to bicycles, which he picked up himself from the bike shop.


And then there is a check to the Dental Center for two thousand and forty-dollars. It is alleged this one is to pay for dental work for one of Castro’s special friends. And finally there is a check for three thousand, two hundred and twelve dollars and seventy-nine cents which, we are told, paid for turkeys given away at Christmas.


We actually talked to General Manager of the Belize Airports Authority Kenworth Tillett. He told us that he is not going to say anything about any checks, and we can write what we want. We also spoke to Minister of State Edmond Castro, who told us that he didn’t write the checks, so he can’t tell us anything about them, even the ones written directly to him. He claimed that if we wanted answers, we would have to go to the BAA.


The checks listed, and we are told there are many more, amount to the fleecing of the bank account of the authority.  And while Castro refuses to comment, there are plenty who are willing to do so. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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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13 Responses for “The fleecing of the Belize Airports Authority….over $30,000 paid on behalf of Edmond Castro”

  1. Concerned says:

    The $5,000 check is signed Tillet. That is not a BAA signature. Are you sure those checks are from BAA??? they looks made up/// please check and see

  2. BelizeaninAsia says:

    This man has no shame. And what will the people of Belize do about these facey, theiving politicians? Hold on let me think….uhm…hmmm…Duh! Nothing….

  3. islandboy70 says:

    This is outright stealing and it is a crime punishable by law. What does the prime minister has to say about this? what in the World? Those money could have been used to fix the streets leading to the municipal airport. The problem with our country is that any degenerate can run as a politician and get elected. They then become a minister and given a big portfolio. It doesn’t matter if they were on crack cocoine, womanizers, rapist etc. What do we expect when they get into office? Do we expect them to have our country at heart? Do we hope that they will change and be a good minister? And last but not least, the ministers will never be charged criminally. They are untouchable.

  4. Uncle Benji says:

    Calling on all Belizeans! Let’s commence a drive to remove Castro from office. This guy is a ruthless crook that should be in jail.

    Uncle Benji will donate the first $500 to retain an attorney that will commence our drive (filing of criminal complaint) to remove Castro from office. Interested? Let’s talk……..

  5. oscar965 says:

    I agree with Islandboy70…that money could have been used to fix the street at the municipal airport. It is a shame that the first thing that one sees arriving into the city is big pot holes. But all politicians play the blind eye. People in the city do not notice as they do not use that stretch of road often but all those who use the airport to do business in Belize City and Tourist alike have to deal with a road that has been left to degrade and degrade. San Pedro was the same way…with muddy streets and pot holes by the airport but the town leaders had a better vision and all of the roads by the San Pedro Airport have since been paved and cobblestoned. First impressions do count…but it is beyond me why the Belize City mayor or his councilors cannot see this….

  6. Al Rich says:

    Is there any proper accounting practices in place? How can checks be so freely written from government accounts. No government account should have just one signature for checks to be dispensed. Should there not be “check requests” made with valid paperwork attached as proof of a valid debt.

    Is it a woman teeth he paid to have fixed, if it is Belizeans you have just paid for Castro’s love life. Hollywood could not make up a story line like this. This is shameful, a government with a licence to steal from their country.

  7. Belizanme says:

    All of these accusation and no charge as yet. Channel 5 wanting to look good

  8. ceo says:

    How you mean you will not talk? This is not your money this is the public’s money in other words the money of the people of Belize. You are in a position of authority to make sure the money is handled correctly and there is enough evidence to call you into question. You better start to sing!

    The people of Belize will one day get fed up with the crap and the government will have more than problems on their hands.

    This is such a big shame for the current GOB! The people of Belize should unit and stop letting the politicians play us against each other with the red/blue UDP PUP crap. It should not matter who will lead the charge to force better governance because a good government will benefit all the people of Belize. Let’s work together to stop these crimes against the State from happening.

  9. Citizen says:

    Shame and disgrace are these UDP ministers. This is the government money, not Castro’s bank account. I am appalled that the board can find it fit to be giving away government money like Santa Cause. Tillett and the rest should be made to pay it all back.

  10. Guerra says:

    The PM is saying that Castro did not do any corruption because of the checks, because it was given to him by the board. You cannot use the government money like your piggy bank account and this is outrageous. This is open door corruption. No hiding, no shame.

  11. sickntired says:

    Who knows the truth behind all this? The cheques are not cancelled through a bank so for all we know somebody making drama here. Anyway the PM should still have the auditor general check out the accounts at BAA to see what they up to.

  12. sam says:

    Castro has PM by his !@#$%, but like all good thinks it will come to and end. My advice don’t make the mistake and come to the USA as you will end in a Federal Prison, ask PM son he can tell you about it, Human trafficking is a global crime, I hope you forget and come to the USA as soon as you out of politics as your time is coming.

  13. Johnny Cash says:

    All Belizeans are stupid. The evidence is more than abundant of this.

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