Thirty seven year old Sergeant of Police Lenancio Bol and 30 year old police constable Daniel Requena, both attached to Precinct three in Belize City, were jointly charged for extortion following an incident that happened on Tuesday September 5. According to an official police release on the incident, on that day the officers detained three Honduran women who were in Belize without proper documents. A court report indicates that following their detention, one Estefania Gomez said that while at work she received a phone call from a friend. That friend told her that her three other female friends had been detained by police. Gomez adds that she requested to speak with the officer in charge and when she heard his voice, she recognized it was Bol, someone she knew. She then offered him six hundred dollars to release her friends but he said the money was too little. Gomez increased the offer to eight hundred dollars, which he accepted and they agreed to meet at Li Chee Restaurant on Freetown Road to make the transaction. Once there, Gomez observed that her friends were in a police mobile with Officer Requena. She handed Sergeant Bol the money but what he did not know is that she had recorded the serial numbers of the notes paid to him. That’s when police were called and the officers were intercepted on St. Mark Street. According to reports, officers found some of the money under the vehicle and the rest near a drain. They were both detained and charged with extortion. They appeared today before Magistrate Aretha Ford and pled not guilty to the charge. They were released on bails of $2,000 each and their case was adjourned until November 14. In a press brief this afternoon, Central Regional Commander ACP Dezerie Magdaleno said the officers are also being dealt with by the Department.
ACP, Dezerie Phillips Madaleno – Central Regional Commander: “I know that a brief synopsis of the information report made has been sent to you all in the media so at this point in time I will just confirm with you that Sgt. Lenancio Bol has been charged with extortion and PC. Daniel Requena has been charged for conspiracy to commit extortion. I will not get into the investigation of this case at this time. It is a policy within the police department that once you are charged criminally for an offence you are also dealt with under the Police Code and this case is no exception that is also being done.”
Exactly one month ago, on August eight, two Punta Gorda cops extorted a school principal of four hundred dollar. They appeared in court three days later. Today the Police commanders were asked if the Department’s personnel were engaging more often in extorting the members of the public.
ACP, Edward Broaster – Operations Commander : “That’s not the case what you have been seeing is an increase in interdiction efforts because we will not tolerate rogue officers acting unlawfully.”
ACP Dezerie Phillips Madaleno – Central Regional Commander: “But also to add on that the Department maintains its zero tolerance to wrongdoing by its officers and this is another testimony that we stand by that mandate so we investigate our officers and when we have evidence to charge we charge criminally and internally.”