Tour operator Yhony Rosado is out of sixty-five thousand dollars and that’s because he bought a stolen vehicle, a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas. The vehicle was stolen from a car rental company in the USA. And by some sneak and intelligent moves and maneuvers, that stolen car was registered here in Belize and sold to Rosado. The car was confiscated from Rosado earlier in the month and from what Police Commissioner Chester Williams told us, the car is now the property of the Belize Police Department unless the true owner comes forward to claim it.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I know for a fact that the vehicle is in fact stolen from Chicago. The vehicle was stolen from a rental company. Apparently someone had rented the vehicle and did not return the vehicle to the company after the rental was over. The vehicle subsequently ended up in Belize. The title of the vehicle is false. They were able to licence and insure the vehicle in country but that does not negate the fact that the vehicle is stolen and so we are going to follow the proper procedure in terms of the law and see if we can have the vehicle confiscated to the Government of Belize. Certainly if the owner would request the vehicle, it will be returned but you’ll find that in most cases like these, in America, these vehicles are insured and so the rental company would have been compensated by insurance and so they would have no interest in the vehicle anymore. Unless the insurance company that had compensated them would have interest then they could make a claim to the vehicle .
Reporter: So in this case, who gets held accountable or charged criminally?
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Well there is no way that we charge unless, there’s a section in the criminal code that speaks to the whole issue of conversion. But, in order for us to do that you must establish that some criminal activities and knowing of certain things and so, it might be difficult to prove and so, I do not see at this time the possibility of anyone being charged for the vehicle.”
Reporter: You don’t see Yhony Rosado suing the police department for the money he spent?
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “He can’t sue the Police Department for that. We are acting based on the law. The law makes provision for that. If he wants to sue then he must sue the person who sold him he vehicle not the police.”
The fact that the vehicle was stolen in the USA and inspected, licensed, insured and registered in Belize is concerning. Today we asked the Commissioner if there is a ring of criminals that specialize in this type of crime.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “certainly, we have been told that there are a number of other vehicles in country similar to that and we are pursuing those vehicles at this time.”
Reporter: You believe that there’s a ring?
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Certainly yes we believe that there is a ring.”
Reporter 2 : How do you pursue that’?
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Well I’m not going to go into details but we’re pursuing it.”
Reporter 1: Do you believe that public officers were involved?
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Well at this time, no. We don’t have anything to suggest that public officers are involved.