Posted: Wednesday, July 12, 2017. 8:09 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Almost a week after close to 100 BDF uniforms were found at a residence in Orange Walk, the two men police had detained in connection with the incident have been released and police are no closer to levying charges against anyone.
Police had originally intercepted a Mexican who led police to the trove of uniforms at the house in Orange Walk. BDF Commander Brigadier General David Jones had originally heaved all the blame on the Ministry of Finance claiming that it was the Ministry’s responsibility to dispose of the uniforms.
Financial Secretary Joseph Waight of the Ministry of Finance had also told the media he believed there was a serious breach. Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, however, during a press conference with the media yesterday indicated that police would not be able to charge the men found with the uniforms for any crime.
“In the past I can recall that we use to charge people for being in possession of uniforms, but I was told that there was some challenge to a case that we had many years ago and the practice had ceased in terms of charging for those things,” Whylie said.
The case, however, has gotten more complex as there have been reports suggesting that the Mexican who had been detained by police had been in collusion with a high ranking BDF official. Two videos circulating in the media purportedly show text messages between one of the men detained for the uniforms and the high ranking BDF official.
At one point during the exchange, the BDF official appears to warn the man that there is no BDF protection in a particular area and in another, directs the man who was in police custody at the time to contact an official from the Ministry of Finance to sort the matter out.
Allegations also suggest that the uniforms may have been intended for sale to a Mexican cartel, however, neither of the videos give any such indication outrightly.
If nothing else, though, the Belizean public now knows based on ComPol’s comments that it is perfectly legal for civilians to possess official BDF uniforms.
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