More than six hundred and twenty thousand dollars were found during a major joint operation on Thursday, October 31 in Corozal Town. The total amount is the sum of various currencies and denominations found including one point six million pesos. Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams spoke on the operations during today’s press brief.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “A joint team of police, FIU and income tax or Belize Tax Services I believe is the new name now, descended on Shantie’s Store in Corozal Town where a search was conducted. That search resulted in the discovery of different denominations of money, there was a $60,000 US currency, another $74,000 US currency, $181,000 Belize dollars, $1.6 million pesos, $350 Canadian dollars, there was I think $122,000 Rupees which is Indian currency, and a couple hundred Quetzal. From the investigation conducted so far it reveals that the proprietors of the store were engaged in the exchange of money, Casa de Cambio, without a permit and so the income tax confiscated the $74,000 US as that was concealed and they failed to declare it. In respect to the other amount of money they will be charged for operating a Casa de Cambio without a permit and then FIU will be dealing with the FIU related offenses and so the monies are currently in custody of the police pending the outcome of that investigation. But this is a part of our continued effort with other agencies which includes Customs, Immigration and FIU to go after those persons who we believe are involved in white collar crime, evading taxes and as well as looking at money laundering offenses. These operations are going to continue as I said with a view to see how we could target those persons as well as those who we believe are involved in the illegal landings of planes across the country.”
As Police Commissioner noted, the monies are the proceeds from an illegal casa de cambio operating in Corozal Town. Charges are yet to be levied against the businessman.