The Belize Police Department is investigating one of its own. Police Constable Ismael Monima has been charged with Perverting the Course of Justice. He is accused of tampering with evidence. On Thursday August 10 a Corozal man was detained and charged for traffic offences. A urine sample was collected and it was placed inside the refrigerator at the traffic office at the Corozal Police Station. PC Monima is accused of taking that sample after investigations revealed that he was the only one in the office when the evidence went missing. The case is being handled by the Professional Standards Branch headed by ACP Chester Williams.
ACP Chester Williams – Head, Professional Standards Branch
“That sample was placed in a refrigerator in the traffic office around 5am on the 10th. About 5pm on that day, the Corporal went to make checks in the refrigerator and discovered that the urine sample was missing from the refrigerator. He immediately reported the matter to his superior who then reported the matter to my office and an investigation was launched into the matter. During the course of the investigation statements were obtained from persons within the police station who had seen PC Monima inside the traffic office searching just prior to the sample going missing. On August 11th about 7:50 there about PC Monima returned the urine sample to another Corporal as a result of which he was later arrested and charged for the crime of perverting the course of justice. We do retain the sample and the charge is one of perverting the course of justice and that is where a person commits any act in terms of destroying any evidence or materials that may be used in any judicial proceedings and the fact that the officer took the sample from the police station for a number of hours I am sure that the integrity of that evidence would have been diminished and so the likelihood of the police getting that evidence into court come trial date will be reduced significantly and that is the reason why we believe his action is one that have thwarted the course of justice in this particular incident.”
Monima who is attached to Corozal Police has been placed in interdiction. He was arraigned today at the Orange Walk Magistrate court where he pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered bail of five thousand dollars and a surety of the same amount. He is to reappear on October 16.