Prime Minister Dean Barrow was the guest on The Morning Show today. While two hours of his undivided attention would seem sufficient to cover a wide range of issues, it wasn’t nearly enough to discuss four of the top burning national issues, being, the BTL Arbitration Award, the murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, Crime and the Belize/Guatemala issue. As it relates to the Lucas murder and the arrest of William Mason who is said to have enjoyed close relations with several Cabinet ministers, Prime Minister Barrow says that he made it a point to table the matter in yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow: “Papa Mena said to us “My God when there was the flooding at Hope Creek this man was one of the first persons out there helping to move people out of their homes and to take them to higher ground.” He obviously got involved with CEMO, I don’t think it’s the larger NEMO I think it’s the Belize City Emergency Management Organization and publicly made donations of equipment and that sort of thing. My short point is that he is without a doubt a conman, I’m careful as a lawyer in talking about the murder to say he’s an accused. In terms of his activities as a grifter there is no allegation that is without a doubt and it now emerges that there are several persons that he ripped off but clearly if Ministers did not know the true nature of the individual and he appeared to be not just a regular citizen but somebody who was contributing to economic activity in the country I can see how acquaintances would have developed. I was happy that Minister Saldivar admitted that the man had contributed to his football team, he had visited the man’s home but as soon as he found out that this man was a grifter he cut him off.”
Mason has reportedly embedded himself in Belmopan, establishing business relations, friendships and building network while contributing to the economic development of the country. Based on this, Prime Minister Barrow says he can see how the acquaintances could have been made with his Cabinet ministers.
“In terms of his acquaintance with a number of Ministers I would have wished that it had been otherwise. He’d made investments in a piggery in various other agriculture activities. In a number of areas and it seems as though he had worked his way, or perhaps wormed his way into the good graces of a number of people in Belmopan and otherwise.”
Despite the speculations on social media that Mason may have been facilitated in his untoward actions by Cabinet ministers, Prime Minister says he doesn’t subscribe to those beliefs but does welcome any substantial proof of the contrary.
“I am satisfied that no Minister who had an acquaintanceship with him engaged in anything untoward as a consequence of that acquaintanceship. If a different truth emerges I would have to do something about that. It is still unfortunate that our people are suspicious and no doubt with justification and so it is a political embarrassment for the government but I am satisfied that as a matter of fact no improper activity was engaged in by any minister in consequence of that Minister’s acquaintanceship with this fellow.”
Since Friday night’s discovery of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas’ head in Belmopan, it has been uncovered that Mason had entertained several government officials at his home on Intelco Hill, including the head of the Gang Suppression Unit, Mark Flowers; Minister of National Security, John Saldivar; Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber and City Councillor, Philip Willoughby.