Earlier today, GOB stated that they have received additional information on the detention of Reynaldo Verde, the Deputy Director of the Belize Tax Services Department. According to them, these details came in the form of US Court Documents regarding the charges levied against Verde. Verde was detained in the US on September 7 and was subsequently charged by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with alleged interference with commerce by means of extortion and attempted extortion. He has denied these charges, however. In light of the charges, the Belize Tax Service Department has submitted a recommendation to the Public Services Commission that Verde is placed on immediate interdiction pending the outcome of this legal action. The Department has also commenced its own investigation of the circumstances that were described in the case documents that led to the charges against Verde. Their aim is to determine whether further action by their Department as well as the Belize Police Department is necessary. The Belize Tax Service Department is reportedly in communication with Chris Williams, the principal of Orchid Bay Development, and is determined to ensure that all taxes that are owed by this company and other related companies are settled in full. Today, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber stated that the process is now just taking its course.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize: “I don’t know what else we can say about that. I mean this is an allegation made against Mr.Verde. I believe it was reported to us that Mr.Verde has been read those charges and in fact he has denied any guilt in terms of this and so it is just a matter of the process taking its course. I will say that in my opinion we need to be careful in the public service and I’m not talking about politicians. We need to be careful of how we approach people, where it is in fact you are in a position of public trust and I’m not talking about Mr. Verde’s case necessarily , talking in general that you have the highest standards especially when it relates to offices that have the finances, the taxes of this country at stake. You know we need to be very careful and we need to keep our head upright and we should be careful, it should be a lesson to all who are involved in the public service but also in the private sector for us to make sure that we always have our head above the water and that we cannot be brought into reproach.”