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Jan 27, 2014

Belize Airports Authority stands by its Minister; Board member speaks out

Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Edmond Castro, has been in the hot seat for some time. But this time, he came under fire after Belize Airports Authority cheques surfaced, along with the allegations that the statutory body had been playing a second role as the Minister’s cash cow. At the House meeting last Wednesday, a meeting which Castro did not attend, Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that he had spoke to his junior minister about the matter. The PM called the fleecing of the BAA wrong and distasteful and threatened immediate termination for BAA board members if they ever did it again. Mike Rudon spoke to Board Member, Lindsay Garbutt and has an update on the Castro cheque controversy.



Mike Rudon, Reporting

There are seventy-eight cheques in all – drawn on the operating account of the Belize Airports Authority. Several of them are made out directly to Edmond Castro…some to family members and others to fund his political causes, like educational grants, his cycling team, paying for his political constituency bashes…that sort of thing. Yet, the BAA is standing by its Minister all the way.


Lindsay Garbutt, Board Member, BAA

Lindsay Garbutt

“I think that when you look at the quantum of the cheques and you carefully analyze them, I think you would be able to come to a different conclusion. I certainly do not think that the allegation that suggests that Minister Castro benefitted directly or indirectly from all those cheques, I think that is totally not true.”


Contrary to Garbutt’s assertion, there is evidence that Minister of State Castro benefitted both directly and indirectly, financially and politically, from the use of funds from the BAA’s operating account.


Lindsay Garbutt

“Another cheque for four thousand dollars was given to him to assist with funeral expenses for his mother. You know frankly Mister Rudon, we considered carefully that request. Anyone that has been around Minister Castro recognizes the amount of money that he puts into every death related to people having to do with his constituency. You know and certainly in providing that assistance to him, what I as a member of the board, looked at was an opportunity to now provide assistance to a minister who has helped his entire constituency. He has twenty-seven communities and we know that all those people wanted to go to pay their respects to him and the death of his mother. And so we felt that if we could assist in that, we would and we did.”


Not all the seventy-eight cheques can be linked to Castro. Some of them are for genuine BAA expenses. That’s about the only thing the BAA can hold onto at this point.  Take these cheques to Bowen and Bowen, for example…


Lindsay Garbutt

“The BAA provides activities, provides sponsorship for activities to assist with events; some of those events may have been held in the constituency; we have events of our own. So when we feel that it is something that we could afford, we look carefully at it and we provide the support.”


Mike Rudon

“And these in particular you can’t tell me right off—I know it is some time ago—you couldn’t right off if these were political events? The end of 2013 and then in 2012; and then there is one for Caribbean Chicken…”


Lindsay Garbutt

“If you notice those cheques, one of them to Bowen and Bowen was made close to Christmas time and we provide the support for activities in regards to celebration for Christmas in those communities and the other one was around September time and we provided support for that.”


Mike Rudon

“Two political functions hosted by Minister Castro?”


Lindsay Garbutt

“If you call Independence Day political…I mean everybody in Belize supports independence. If you are telling me that only political people were at these things, I mean, I can respect your opinion. I don’t agree with that. we felt that we were contributing to activities for both events in these communities.”


So in the end it boils down to this…the BAA does not agree that it did anything wrong.


Lindsay Garbutt

“To give the idea that all these cheques issues in all these names were issued with the idea of benefiting Minister Castro is not only ludicrous; it seems also malicious.”


But the statutory body has decided to suspend its entire ‘assistance’ program.


Lindsay Garbutt

“We looked at these circumstances when they arose and we made the decision that we thought was the best decision to make at that time. Certainly some of them we would not make if we were to be faced with them again. We believe that we must continue as an entity in this country to provide social assistance, but quite frankly, there are some things that we will definitely not do again. As a matter of fact, we have suspended under evaluating the entire process of providing assistance.”


Garbutt says that no member of the board feels that they were involved in any way in corruption. Mike Rudon for News Five.


Last week, we tried to get a comment from Minister Castro, but he told us that he didn’t sign the cheques, so he couldn’t comment. 

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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22 Responses for “Belize Airports Authority stands by its Minister; Board member speaks out”

  1. erectus maximus says:

    Of course he won’t criticize Castrator. He’s sucking from the same cash cow!!

  2. Joe Blank says:

    Wow! Wow! The beauty of sweet, slick b.s.! The good thing about sweet, slick b.s. is that it’s still b.s. and like all b.s. it sounds bad, looks bad, and definitely smells bad. Thank you Joseph Goebbels (Lindsay Garbutt) for another long running UDP series of b.s. explanations. You are a poet when you keep your mouth shut! Amen!

    P.S. Please keep your mouth shut in the future, please.

  3. Ali BaBarrow, covers Castro's booty calls says:

    When is someone going after the bigger money fountain of backhanded deals?

    Belize Tourism Board, there is a rat’s nest of money down rat holes.

    How about the time minister fired the board because they would not buy a vehicle unrelated to BTB business? That was several years ago. With the new board team, what are the odds they have accounting irregularities? Probably Ali and his head of tourism thievery know, but it will not be sixty, try 600 or 6000 checks with bigger numbers.

    Con men conning the country.
    Here is your pence, now shut up and starve.

    Halifax gibbet to them all.
    When Ali and his forty are in prison, Belize will be going in a better direction.

  4. Ali BaBarrow, covers Castro's booty calls says:

    When the honorable Castro makes a booty call it is either in between the legs or in the wallet.
    Somewhere below the belt.

    Hulse, looking little haggard these days sweeping up all the crap to make it look pretty.

  5. BelizeaninAsia says:

    So Mr. Garbut if you do not believe that BAA did anything wrong, then the PM should not threaten to fire anyone ‘IF’ it ever happens again.

  6. curious says:

    MAN MAN MAN, dah weh dis bally di talk? He an all don get korrupt? Da bredda kom fram wah kristian family. MAN MAN MAN, dis no reely di mek sence. CASTRO DA DI MINISTA FI DEM BREDDAZ DEM. Kastro abused e powa. Now deh di tek up fi ah. If da no koruption, if wat dey did was all good an fine why di bredda seh: “Certainly some of them we would not make if we were to be faced with them again.” “there are some things that we will definitely not do again.”

    And chek dis out: “To give the idea that all these cheques issues in all these names were issued with the idea of benefiting Minister Castro is not only ludicrous; it seems also malicious.”

    Dis bredda blind too!!! Well he dah one a dem so e haf fi tek up fi e minista. Look weh e seh: Anyone that has been around Minister Castro recognizes the amount of money that he puts into every death related to people having to do with his constituency. man man man Dis dah no true. Mi ma dead an gawn an ah no see am yet. Da minista no get wah lee sumtin evry month fi spen pan e pipple dem? U mean dah sommuch pipple dead eena rural north? a bet u dah only udp pipple di get wah lee help. weh happen to di rest?

    Look pan di adda tek up weh e di do fi Castro: “If you notice those cheques, one of them to Bowen and Bowen was made close to Christmas time and we provide the support for activities in regards to celebration for Christmas in those communities and the other one was around September time and we provided support for that.”

    Dah no govament fi give dis bally money fi dem kinda tings? Wen wah bredda trow wah paaty da no dah bredda look good eena di pipple eyes? TELL ME IF DIS DA NO POLITIKAL HELP?

    Any way u waan paint it Gabby, Castro use unu fi wah milkin kow. Now unu di tek up fi ah fi mek unu no look bad eena we eyes but unu di fail miserably paps. if dah mi PUP di do dis un wah mi wah done di bruk up tings down town Belize city an di cause rukshan all ova di place.

    Chek dis out, e no wah tek lang fi wa nada slanda come out. Deh wah all tek up fi one anada again. Cant wait fi di day come wen dem ya cruuked pipple get di sence and get bangles up and put pan di rastrum fi answa fi dem crookedness. Talk like dem so righteous mo dan di ada paaty, o how dem ruff up di PUP bredda dem. deh no diffrent. ALL A DEM dah di same breed a dawg.

  7. Rod says:

    This man and all involved are nothing but big thieves they should all be locked up in jail fu thief well all you thieves out there this should give you a clue in how to thief Just go in gov. And do it legally .

  8. alibabarrow where are you? says:

    Where are you, alibabarrow? cut your vacation short and tell us about this one of the 41 thieves. Notice they all speak the same way? I bet you he drives nothing less than a 2012 vehicle and watches nothing smaller than a 48-inch flat screen. Poor Belize. These guys are so disoriented, they have no idea where the threshold of wrongdoing is.

  9. TRUTH says:

    Sodom and Gomorrah (aka Belize)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…………..IS there not ONE honest Belizean living in this land anymore? Have ALL our eyes been clouded by the 5 Pieces of Silver we receive every 15th and Ending that we REFUSE to stand up against this condemnation of our SOULS?……….Fudge Mein Mr. Garbutt, YOU make me hang my head in shame as a Belizean. Enjoy your wealth Sir.

  10. Average Bzean Citizen says:

    Never thought I”d see the day this man would destroy his reputation like that. Sad. Does he not hear himself talk? Does he not hear how ridiculous he sounds trying to play this as nonchalant? Mr. Garbutt was one i thought cared about integrity & his reputation. Guess there are things in life that are way more important. This will forever haunt his integrity.

  11. El che guevara says:

    @ Alibabarrow…..This man drives a 2008 white Toyota 4runner and a black 2013 Toyota Hilux. He is currently the director of civil aviation after he bullied the post from qualified applicants while he was interim due to the fact that the director at that time took ill. He was then the CEO of the ministry of tourism and civil aviation. He realized the size of the pot of gold he was sitting on without any knowledge or background in aviation and yanked it away from qualified people who climbed the ranks to director and is now reaping the fruits all year round.

    “Young people should learn to think and act as a mass. It is criminal to think as individuals! “

  12. Pelican says:

    NEW RULE:– Govt. now pays your personal bills! Wonder why the work STOP dah municipal Airstrip??????????????????????????? CH 5 – Try go find out noh????

  13. Ali BaBarrow and his band of 40+ says:

    @curious Dis bredda blind too!!!

    He perfectly sees what he is doing.
    He is in the forty, why he got this Cush job, pays better than minimum wage, plus benefits….

    He thinks you bredda and Belize are blind fools.

  14. Belizean Pride says:

    thanks for coming out to show how many of you scums are eating from the national B.A.A cooky jar.
    It’s a pity to watch this man coming out to defend what is obviously corruption, for God sakes stop it man. We all know what is going on and it’s called corruption so cut the crap. I’d be shame to be showing my face defending scums. Yet when the table turns lets see where he will ends after they kick his butt out of his place after elections.

  15. Hmmnnn says:

    Wait a minute here! Did not the PM speak and boast about allowances being given to area representatives to hand out to their people. So then, why is BAA money being used as handouts to Castro and family?

  16. rudebwoy says:

    Channel 5 you all need to go and investigate Garbutt he is the biggest thief they have out there and he is in cohoots with Minister Castro he is very shameful I hope someone reports the Government to the US FAA as we have a Director of Civil Aviation that knows nothing about Civil Aviation and Castro put him there because both of them are scamps alike. Department of Civil Aviation had a deputy director when the director became ill and Garbutt put himself there when it was the qualified Deputy Director that was suppose to have gotten this position. There is a lot of Missing funds from Civil Aviation and the employees are very dissatisfied at the abuse of power that has been going on at this department but nobody cannot talk. Belize will be in big trouble lets see when flights stop landing there and the FAA finds out that we have someone that only know about boats being the head of Civil Aviation SHame on Belize

  17. venus says:

    Tillet and Garbutt are two first cousins and therefore has each other’s back . Funny how politics change people, Garbutt was not brought up that way.

  18. ceo says:

    How about not spending any money from the airport on anything else but airport related upkeep, maintenance and improvements?

    Now why the heck would he need money to help him bury his mother? What’s up with his salary? This is just bas and straight BS.

  19. Ali BaBarrow, a god of 40 says:

    shut down the tourism industry and this whole mess comes to a head.

    Tourists need to know they are hunted for being tourists, robbed, raped or killed. Fool tour operators have licenses who got them by how? They kill people, but are connected and stay in business. Expats killed for having a TV set and $500. Locals killed for not being in a gang. Education sucks and getting worse because of these criminals have poisoned the people’s government; they don’t care about teachers or students; care only about their forty. I tell my friends not to visit, too dangerous, don’t invest in this trash heap of crime and corruption. Belize used to be the upcoming, instead it has gone to hell. Ali is the king of the gangs and the white collar criminals. Until the people put these criminals in prison and out of government, expect the worse to come when they become desperate to stay in power and out of prison.

    Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
    Get up, stand up: don’t give up the fight!
    I know they don’t know what life is really worth.
    It’s not all that glitters that is gold.
    We sick an’ tired of their ism-skism game -
    We know what we understand: AliBaBarrow is a living man.
    They can fool some people sometimes,
    But they can’t fool all the people all the time.
    So now we see the light (what you gonna do?),
    We gonna stand up for our rights!
    To the steets if you believe in Belize.

  20. Johnny Cash says:

    Belize people are the most stupid on the planet.

  21. Al Rich says:

    What the H is this man talking about. “When you look at the quantum of the checks, that is a bunch of bull. No government account should be use to pay a member of the governments personal bill period, end of story.
    So what he is saying is that any member of the government can pay their personal bills from any government account.

    Poor excuse for stealing from the government funds. Arrest the man, charge the man and expell him from his position.

  22. sickntired says:

    Like we no see no end to fool fool thiefin people. Wtf with this dude? He should get fired fi go pon tv and show his true self – idiot.

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