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Businessman Contests Forfeiture of Ham by Customs

Fifty-six year old Mexican businessman Manuel Pastor Gomez Diaz, the Director Coral’s Company Limited, an enterprise located at Central Plaza Commercial Free Zone, appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser to contest an application made by the Comptroller of Customs for the forfeiture of a container containing 150 cases of chilled ham, weighing 3,465 pounds. On November 20, 2016, Diaz had imported the container without an import permit. After BAHA had written to him requesting that the container be returned to where it came from and he failed to do so, the matter was turned over to the Custom Department. Consequently, the application was made for the forfeiture. Diaz asked for time to present his side. He said he has acquired the services of an attorney and the attorney has sent a letter to the court. He said that the ham was not destined for Belize. It was to go to Mexico. He explained that it was not the first time he had imported ham to Belize but it was the first time the ham arrived before he had gotten an import license. The matter was adjourned.