“A serious breach”, that is how Financial Secretary Joseph Waight describes the case involving the seizure of close to one 100 BDF uniforms and decommissioned outboard engines which were found in a home located on Baeza’s Alley here in Orange Walk on Thursday.
As we told you on Friday, the Belize Defense Force and Mexican Military were carrying out their Northern Seal Operations near the Mexican community of Botes when they intercepted one Mexican National who was in possession of a large quantity of BDF uniforms. After being brought to the station the Mexican national reportedly led cops to a house located on Baeza’s Alley belonging to one Sarco Torres the individual he allegedly purchased the uniforms from. A search of Torres’ home led to the discovery of various items including outboard engine parts belonging to the BDF. A second residence on Baeza alley was also searched yielding an undisclosed amount of BDF uniforms including sets from the newest British type as well as two older models. We understand that the owner of house where the uniforms were found has nothing to do with the items.
But the question now is…how did Torres end up with the items that according to Brigadier General David Jones had already been handed over to the Ministry of Finance for disposal? Well, according to FINSEC, Torres was one of the men hired for one day to dispose of the items and apparently he didn't get rid of all of them. Waight has indicated that the Ministry of Finance is quote “trying to find where the breakdown in procedure was”. But even though Waight has indicated that it is a serious breach the Belize Police Department is saying that there is no evidence that suggests that the items were stolen and hence all persons detained including Torres were released.
Of note is that when news broke of the confiscated BDF uniforms and outboard engines reports surfaced of two high ranking officials of the BDF being involved. Commander Jones though, denied having received such reports.