Special Senate Inquiry Begins Probe into Portico’s Port of Magical Deal

Special Senate Inquiry Begins Probe into Portico’s Port of Magical Deal

The Special Senate Inquiry convened today in Belmopan with its established mandate to probe into the infamous Definitive Agreement surrounding Portico’s Port of Magical cruise port.  The first witness called this morning was Sean Duncan.  Duncan appeared with his attorney, Andrew Bennett.  One of the first issues brought up had to do with the serving of summons, as well as disclosure.  Attorney Bennett noted that they had written to the assembly requesting information on the basis of Duncan’s summons.  Bennett noted that to date that disclosure has not been made.  The session then continued with Duncan, an IT expert rendering testimony over his company, Nine Enterprise, and its acquisition of land.  Senator Kevin Herrera opened by querying about Nine Enterprise to which Duncan is a director.  Duncan was unable to answer several questions including the year the company was established.  Interestingly, Duncan also indicated that the company was not into real estate.  That testimony comes in spite of several documents showing that Nine Enterprises had acquired 850 acres of land at the East of Northern Lagoon.  The questioning barely made it past five minutes, when Attorney Bennett indicated that there are certain questions that Duncan would not be answering. 

Senator Kevin Herrera: “What is the main purpose of the company sir ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “We provide technical services, technology services that’s pretty much the main purpose of the company. All technology related services.”

Senator Kevin Herrera: “Does the company involve a real estate any at all ?” 

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “Uhm well no. That company no. We haven’t got involved in anything like that.”

Senator Bevington Cal: “You said that __ Enterprise is not a real estate company. You said that earlier in your statement.”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “Yes”

Senator Bevington Cal:  “But you also said that _____ Enterprise acquired these lands for and hoping to sell them in the future.”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise:  “Well I mean as an individual enterprise, an entity on it’s own I do believe that yourself could acquire land and hope to sell it in the future or save it for your kids. I mean it’s all purpose driven. You don’t have to sell it. It could be kept but if you get a good price why not ?”

Senator Bevington Cal: “Was there any interested parties – after you acquired this land was there any interested parties that approached you guys for purchase ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “Personally nobody approached me. My interest there was signed over the properties and that’s it. Nobody personally approached me.”

Senator Bevington Cal: “Would you have any relationship with the then Commissioner of Lands or the Minister of Lands?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “No.”

Senator Bevington Cal: “Don’t know them ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “None at all.”

Senator Bevington Cal: “Didn’t have any relationship with them ? Talking with them ? Any communication with them ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “With who ?”

Senator Bevington Cal: “The former Minister of Lands or the former Commissioner ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “No sir. Absolutely none at all.”

Senator Bevington Cal:  “Thank you.”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: -“Actually I was hoping to meet them for the first time today.”

Janelle Chanona: “Mr. Duncan just in terms of process. You mentioned earlier this was your first land acquisition on behalf of this company is that correct ? Were you surprised at the timeline of how things progressed in terms of your application to then the approval of the request and then ultimately when you got the title ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “Honestly when it comes to those types of transaction I leave it to my business partners so timeline and so forth honest I did not even look at that part.”

Senator Kevin Herrera: “Did you submit a development plan when you acquired or when – first of all let me ask you had moved from lease to title in 2020.” 

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “My -“
Attorney: “We would respectfully raise that the acquisition of property unless it touches and concerns and forms a part of the definitive agreement and whether any negotiations were contingent on the acquisition of any property by a private individual unless it is relevant to that then my client would decline to answer those questions.”

Senator Kevin Herrera had asked about the significant discount in prices for the land.  Also querying about the land acquisition was Senator Janelle Chanona.  Her questions were based on the quickness of how the land applications were confirmed, and processed.

Senator Kevin Herrera: “The valuation for that type of land is between $200 and $700 per acre which would bring the price of those properties between ten and thirty five thousand dollars for the fifty acres which would then amount to forty six to eighty fiver percent discount on the purchase of those properties. Again an area of interest for the committee simply because there were so many properties involved, same size. You got two properties why didn’t you just apply for a hundred acres ? Why two separate properties for fifty acres ? Is there a specific reason ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “As far as I am concerned I signed the documents and it was two properties brought to me by Mr.David Moralez, he is the managing director, any other details please refer to him.”

Senator Kevin Herrera: “But as a director of the company with the business acumen I’m sure you have there is an additional cost to have two separate application processes as opposed to only one. I mean wouldn’t it have made it easier to just apply for a hundred acres ? I mean in your opinion?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “No I trusted the process that Mr.Morales was doing at the time so I just left it as that.”

Senator Kevin Herrera: “And you didn’t ask any questions why ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “At that point no because he brought the investment and I trust that his judgment.”

Chair: “In the interim can I piggyback, you referenced Mr. Morales several times this morning what’s your relationship to him ? This is an investment partner ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “Yes we are very good friends. Been friends for over twenty years so we’re very good friends and we’re business partners. He has his line of business I have my line of business so we’re very very good friends and that’s how our company got launched. But we’re business partners and friends, very very good friends.”

Chair: “Are you aware of the responsibilities of directors to companies incorporated under the laws of Belize ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “I can’t say it in details but I’m aware of responsibilities for a director yes.”

Chair:  “I only ask because you responded to some of the queries saying well you just signed where they told you to sign so just curious in terms of the level of trust being established because at the end of the day you’re the one legally responsible.”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise: “No I agree but I trust his judgment and I trust his management style. So- I’ve been in management for over twenty years.”

Chair: “Okay. Can you tell us who the beneficiary owners are of 9 Enterprises ?”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise:“Beneficiary owners ?”

Chair:  “Yes.”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise:“Nine Technologies or Enterprise ?”

Chair:  “Enterprises. The Minister’s fiat says “Nine Enterprises Limited 86 Los Lagos Ladyville.”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise:“Yeah David Morales and Shawn Duncan.”

Chair:  “You are the only two shareholders.”

Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise:“Yes.”

Chair: “And it’s a 50/50 ?”
Sean Duncan, Nine Enterprise:“Yes.”

Senator Herrera proceeded to query the price of the property, but Duncan referred the Senator to the former Lands Minister and Commissioner of Lands. 

Related post

Outrage in Roaring Creek: Police Hunt for Group After Elderly Man’s Hair Set on Fire

Outrage in Roaring Creek: Police Hunt for Group After…

Tonight, several people from Roaring Creek Village are wanted by police after a video surfaced of them lighting an elderly man’s…
Accused Child Abuser and Former Church Leader Mervin Budram Returns to Court

Accused Child Abuser and Former Church Leader Mervin Budram…

Accused child abuser Mervin Budram, a former church leader, returned to the courthouse this morning in Belmopan. Last year, after several…
Convicted Murderer William ‘Danny’ Mason Back in Court for Kidnapping Case

Convicted Murderer William ‘Danny’ Mason Back in Court for…

And what case could have kept the DPP from appearing in the Budram case? Well, today, convicted murderer William ‘Danny’ Mason…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *