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Senator Salazar Says US questioning was in relation to Immigration not Sanctuary

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In late April, President of the Senate Lee Mark Chang led a delegation to a visit in Taiwan. Upon their return, one of the senators was briefly held for questioning at an airport in Houston, Texas. UDP Senator Aldo Salazar was questioned by authorities and it was alleged in relation to his work as an attorney for Atlantic International Bank Limited (AIBL) the institution that was named as a defendant in a scam by Sanctuary Bay or Sanctuary Belize, a real estate scheme devised by Andris Pukke, a man who was serving time in a US prison for similar schemes. The media questioned Salazar following Tuesday’s senate meeting and he said that his brief questioning at the airport was in relation to immigration matters, not Sanctuary Belize.

Aldo Salazar – UDP Senator: “The allegation is that there was some wrongdoing by U.S. persons operating in Belize and I challenge each of you here in the media to go and read the claim against A.I.B.L. go, read and see what it is about. It is not about fraud, it is not about the dissipation of money by the A.I.B.L. or anybody that worked at the A.I.B.L. It is cleared for an alleged violation of the F.T.C. Telemarketing Sales Rule. It is a simple claim about that and that is it. There are those among us who are quick to tear down our own people, our own institutions in the name of politics. I was not questioned by the F.T.C., that is where we will put it. Listen this was a routine Customs issue and I don’t want to comment further on that because it has definitely been blown out of proportion. I don’t think that I would be on any watch list and as I said my involvement with the A.I.B.L. was that I was their attorney. If there is anybody who is saying that I benefited from any dissipation of funds or I participated in any fraud to the extent that I benefited from fraud or that I was knowingly involved in fraud, that is defamatory. I am not here to defend or to hash this matter out in public, to make a defense for the A.I.B.L. in public. That is a matter which I am not even involved in anymore in the sense that I was Belize’s council to the A.I.B.L. when this matter came about and I was rendering assistance to U.S. council, it is a U.S. jurisdictional issue. My role with the A.I.B.L. was to lend assistance to its U.S. council as the Belize council in relation to our laws, documentation, disclosure and all of that. I am not longer engaged in that, the defense of A.I.B.L. is in the United States. As I said I cannot venture into defending the A.I.B.L. in public. That is not my role, I don’t think that any attorney should go into discussing the matters of their client.

Reporter: “Have you been asked to testify in the case?”

Aldo Salazar – UDP Senator: “I don’t want to comment on that ongoing case because I may have to give evidence, not necessarily for my involvement but as a witness.”

Other than Lee Mark Chang and Salazar, the four man delegation that went on the April 27 trip to Taiwan included Doug Singh, the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission and Hugo Patt, the Minister of Natural Resources.

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