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John Briceno dissatisfied with PM’s handling of the Vega’s land scandal

The office of the Prime Minister has requested a police Investigation into the allegations of fraud Brought forward by Amy Forte. A statement issued confirms that PM Dean Barrow has received the letter sent by Forte’s attorneys. The statement says that the Prime Minister has concluded that the charge of fraud raised by Forte is credible and must be taken extremely seriously and acted upon.  According to the Prime Minister, the Belize Police Department has been asked to conduct an immediate investigation into the matter with a view to bring criminal charges against any person or persons responsible for forgery. In addition, the Lands Department will move to cancel both Grant number 175 of 2009 and the Deed of Conveyance to Andre Vega dated February 17 2010. As well, the Department will cancel the title for 7 acres on Mosquito Caye granted to Andre Vega as compensation for the fact that the land under Grant number 175 of 2009 was privately owned at the time of the Minister’s purported Grant and subsequent transactions. The Prime Minister says that such compensation cannot stand since the Deed of Conveyance that triggered the compensation was fraudulently executed and legally invalid. The Prime Minister expects that the police investigation will be completed as quickly as possible to satisfy the need for justice in this case. For the People’s United Party it’s an “I told you so” situation.

John Briceno – Leader of the Opposition

“I place on record our utter dissatisfaction with the Prime Minister’s dismissive comments to the press when asked about the recent revelations of yet another Vega land scheme saying and I quote, “What it is, is what it is “ end of quote. Ladies and gentlemen, what this is a Prime Minister making light of one of his Minister’s land hustle. What it is a case of self-dealing on the part of his former Deputy Prime Minister, what it is a Prime Minster who chose to do nothing while the nation’s patrimony was being looted and stolen. What it is a well-orchestrated get rich scheme by the Vega family that is what it is. For too long the Prime Minister has turned a blind eye to what was happening in the Ministry of lands under his former deputy Prime Minister. It was our years ago on the 20th of October, 2013 that the Prime Minister publicly declared that the Ministry of Lands under Gapi Vega was and I quote “a hotbed of corruption “end of quote. The fact that the Prime Minister removed Gaspar Vega from the Ministry of Natural Resources is not enough, the fact that Vega was allowed to resign from Cabinet is still not enough. I suspect that the prime minister knew all along what was taking place that is why he was trying to dismiss it and try not to answer it and almost gave you like the middle finger to the Belizean people that he is not going to do anything about and he didn’t even want to look at the files. It is only because this brave Belizean has decided to challenge the Prime Minister and this UDP government and to challenge the very powerful Vega family that the Prime Minister is taking action or else he would have done nothing. Despite the fact that he was getting countless reports, in many instances where people were complaining, be it on the radio, be it on social media. We in the PUP from day one have been calling out the Prime Minister. Almost every House meeting we talk about the corruption taking place in his Government and all the Prime Minister has been interested in doing is try to prop up a Government that is falling apart, a Government that is on its knees right now. There has been no interest to look after the interest of the Belizean people and that is why today we are holding  the Prime Minister responsible for all that have been taking place.”