The first House Meeting for 2021 just concluded after a mountain of allegations of corruption was revealed. We have much to tell you today’s sitting, but first we bring you an update on the two major crime stories we have been following this week. Former Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos has sought legal representation to have monies confiscated from his home in a house raid earlier this week. Police went to Vallejos family home where Police Commissioner Chester Williams confirmed that over eighty thousand dollars were taken and handed over to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Earlier this week based on information received a team of police officers went and conducted a search at the home of Mr.Wilbert Vallejos who is the Commissioner of Lands in Patchakan village. That search yielded $80,000 Belize currency in cash, just over $600 US currency cash and $10,000 in Mexican Pesos. Based on the findings the police detained those persons who were present at the home at the time. Also found by the police were a number of land documents which was also taken into the police custody. We have since obtained the assistance of the FIU and have practically handed over the investigation to them and I know that yesterday there was a hearing at the Corozal Magistrate’s court where Mr.Vallejos through his attorney had applied for the return of the money to him. The court ruled in favor of FIU and ordered that the money be held until April of this year. That is done with a view to be able to give us sufficient time to be able to investigate to see whether or not Mr.Vallejos came into custody of those money through legitimate means. So our investigation is ongoing and we are going to see where it goes from there.”
Reporter: Talk to me in terms of the process with FIU, the collaboration. You said you handed over the investigation to FIU but they do not have the authority to press charges if it comes to that correct ? So how does it work.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We do have police officers who are assigned to FIU as investigators but in addition to the police officers we have at FIU I have also assigned a senior investigator from CIB Belize City to be a part of the investigation with FIU. At the end of the investigation should there be any evidence on which we can lay charges then the police will be the one to lay the charges.”
Love News understands that persons detained have been released and no charges have been filed to date. Police Commissioner Williams confirmed that other properties were searched but only one house yielded the money.