Defence CEO says internal investigation into uniforms that were to be destroyed is now complete

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Updated: July 12, 2017

The investigations continue into the incident where two Belizeans and a Mexican National were found in possession of uniforms and outboard engines belonging to the Belize Defense Force. These were to have been disposed by the Ministry of Finance. Today, we spoke with the CEO of Defense Lt. Colonel Felix Enriquez who says they have done their internal investigation and are now awaiting information from the Police Department before they take further action.

Lt. Col. Felix Enriquez – CEO, Ministry of Defence
“The investigation that we launched internally was to verify that the equipment were indeed those that were sent for disposal and not any other equipment and they were of course with the exception of one pair of uniform that was from a new set of uniforms, it wasn’t issued to anyone so most likely it came directly from the store there. The explanation they gave was that it was amongst those for disposal and it got caught up with it. With regards to how the equipment and uniforms ended up in the hands of someone else outside of those that should have been within the exchange channel of the Belize Defense Force and the personnel from the Ministry of Finance that is being investigated because they should not have been in the hands of anybody else, they should have been disposed of by the personnel that they would have been handed over to. So I cannot comment any further to that regard; that has to come from the police report. Whenever the police reports to us so that we know exactly what they have found out then we could take action if we need to take any action.”

Reporter
“Is there any reason to believe or suspect that there was a breach?”

Lt. Col. Felix Enriquez – CEO, Ministry of Defence
“Of course there was breach. The procedures are very straight forward as to the way items are procured and disposed of. They are laid out plainly in the regulations so as to how they got into the hands of anyone outside of officials then there had to be a breach so indeed once we get a report as to where to breach occurred then we could do something about it.”

Commissioner of Police Allan Whylie says that they are investigating what the trio was doing with the items. A Mexican by the name of Sarco Torres had been detained along with two Belizeans but they were later released. We have also received information that Torres had been working with a high ranking officer of the BDF. When asked. CEO Enriquez says he has not received any official report on that allegation.