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BDF’s Audit Report Still under Investigation

An investigation is still ongoing with in regard to what was revealed by an audit report on the Belize Defence Force Fund. We have only seen a portion of that report but as we have been reporting since last month, the audit revealed several discrepancies and questionable financial transactions. The portion of the report we have seen focuses on Belize Jungle Experience Limited, a company which is owned by Lieutenant Colonel Charlton Roches.  According to the audit, Belize Jungle Experience Limited was registered as a land development, management, and sales company. The Auditor General stressed that the company quote, “has no business providing the services it is providing to the BDF…”. End of quote. That service dealt with Jungle Training Packages which was sold to the German Army Headquarters for more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Today we asked Acting BDF Commander Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega for an update.

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega – Acting BDF Commander

“As the Ministry had spoken that this is still an ongoing investigation the audit and everything is still being investigated so I will not comment further on that matter.”

Reporter:

Is the gentleman, Mr. Roches, is he still on active duty? Is he on any kind of interdiction, any kind of leave to ensure that his role in this particular situation is properly investigated?

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega – Acting BDF Commander

“He is presently on leave.”

Reporter:

“Any timeline as to when the investigation might be completed?”

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega – Acting BDF Commander

“I’m not sure I’m not the one conducting the investigation so I’m not sure. I’ll have to find out the proposed timeline.”

Reporter

“Sir were you surprised that this happened? That there was what the auditor general said some sort of collusion between the BDF, he created a company used monies of the BDF and things like that because it might have raised eyebrows when that negotiation was formed.”

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega – Acting BDF Commander

“Well as I said I will not comment further because this is still being investigated so it’s a very touchy topic to be discussing at this present time because the investigation is still ongoing.”