After holding on to twenty three canoes that were confiscated three months ago, Police Commissioner ordered that the vessels be returned to their owners in the Orange Walk District. The canoes are believed to belong to persons associated with border jumping from Santa Cruz Village into Botes, Mexico. Initial reports indicated that the Commissioner’s decision was influence by recently elected Minister Ramon Cervantes of the Orange Walk North division. Police Commissioner refuted the allegation of political influence and explained the logic behind his decision.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I don’t know Jules, if he made any such promise and I surely am not the newly elected minister of Orange Walk South and I am telling you I made that decision yesterday. In terms of the canoes we have had these canoes in our custody for quite some time now there is nothing in law allowing us to keep them any longer and so I took a decision yesterday to have the canoes returned to their owners. While the canoes returned to their owners the police officers who are engaged in the border jumpers operation have been directed to ensure they monitor the areas where these canoes are going that is the Santa Cruz and San Victor area and if it is that those individuals are seen using these canoes to go across the border illegally then we’ll do what needs to be done again. We have a very intense operation going on in the border areas- San Victor and Santa Cruz- with elements of the BDF and the Police Mobile Interdiction Team so they have been tasked to ensure they keep a close eye on those persons to whom these canoes are being returned with a view to ensure they’re no longer used to engage in going across the borders.”
The canoes were confiscated back in August 2020 amid rising cases of Covid-19 that were attributed to border jumping at the time.