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Net Vasquez under investigation

Burning tires were what drivers encountered on both highways this morning.  It was just before six o’clock when Police were called out to mile thirty-eight in St Matthew’s Village where they found burning tires lined up on the bridge.  In the north, Orange Walk Police were also called to the Positos area at the approach to the Orange Walk District.

The Chairman of Belize Telemedia Limited, Nestor Vasquez is being investigated after the Board received reports of excessive use of the company’s credit card by Vasquez.  The credit card figure being thrown around is four hundred thousand dollars, but the company would not confirm.  The company issued a release yesterday evening stating, quote, “As soon as the Board of Belize Telemedia Limited became aware of allegations of irregularities in relation to the use of the company credit card by the Chairman of the Board, a comprehensive investigation was launched.  The Board assures the shareholders, employees, and the general public that appropriate action will be taken to safeguard and protect the interest of BTL.”  End of quote.  Love News spoke with Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight who confirmed that the investigation is ongoing but says he was no fully apprised of the details.

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance: Indeed. I’m afraid there’s not much I can say at this moment. I myself I’m not a member of the BTL board, indeed we have seen allegations in the press, they are worrying. If true they are very worrying but at the same time I think we have to wait for the outcome of the investigation that has been launched by the BTL board. I’m hoping that they can do so quickly but still comprehensively and we then see where the chips fall and we take it from there. The Government of Belize is the major shareholder along with the Social Security Board and indeed we’re very concerned, also concerned for the small shareholders in BTL if this is indeed the case but remember at this point they’re allegations yet to be proved – concerning for sure and I think we just wait to see what the outcome comes and we take what appropriate action depending on what that investigation reveals.”

Reporter: Now FinSec would you be able to tell us what are the allegations ? Because right now what we’re getting is just unofficial reports.

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance: ” I don’t know. I can’t say I could only repeat what I hear.”

Reports reaching our newsroom suggest that the credit card statement is not the only matter that has raised eyebrows.  Allegations are that Vasquez also secured a 2-year contract for his news station, Channel 7 and had transferred BTL properties to private entities.  Vasquez has been the Chairman of BTL since its nationalization in 2009.  Love News is following this story.