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Investigate a robbery, Find a body

Posted: Thursday, July 20, 2017. 2:04 pm CST.

Posted: Thursday, July 20, 2017. 1:58 p.m. CST.

By Lisa Shoman: Yesterday, Commissioner of Police and former CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Allan Whylie went to Independence Hill, in a yellow short sleeved shirt. Why was he dressed as a civilian? Commissioner Whylie possesses a uniform. I even have seen him wearing it, in person and at press conferences on TV.

So what was the ComPol doing in Belmopan in casual civilian wear? The Commissioner of Police was summoned by the Senate Select Committee and was testifying before the Senate Inquiry. He was not in uniform.

This is the way he presented himself for formal testimony to the Senate. Was his apparel calculated to convey his respect for the process? It probably was. In what must be a surreal moment, he argued that he should have been provided with the Auditor General ‘s report.

According to the ComPol, “If I didn’t take the initiative of having an officer to get a copy of these to browse through, I would have come here today and I would have been clueless in terms of what the Auditor General had said or had found.” This despite that report being widely available for over two years , a Senate Inquiry which has been televised for months – and the very reason for a Senate Inquiry at which he was attending after being summoned. In a moment that seemed to have been plucked out of a Cantinflas movie, he argued that he did nothing about grave allegations in that Auditor General’s report, because- wait for it –

“”Again these reports as I said I would have expected the auditor general would have sent a copy to us because that is the normal norm of auditor general’s investigation.”

Hon. Eamon Courtenay “So no pro-action on your side?”

Allen Whylie “No sir I haven’t done anything, as I said I just got my hands on these reports and I am going through them and I am waiting on the outcome of this committee.” But not only is the ComPol inert. He implied that the entire Belize Police Force is as well. “Out of all of this immigration thing that has been happening, none of your officers has come to you and recommended any investigation into any irregularities identified by the auditor general?”

Allen Whylie “No sir.”

Hon. Eamon Courtenay “None at all?”

Allen Whylie “No sir.”

Hon. Eamon Courtenay “You are aware of any active investigation by the police into any of the irregularities identified by the auditor general?”

Allen Whylie”No sir.” Nor does he seem to care one bit. Asked about the Superintendent Valdez investigation, the Inquiry produced the following exchange: “

Hon. Eamon Courtenay “In so far as the Valdez investigation, you don’t know where that is?”

Allen Whylie “No as I said I will undertake to find out where we are with that investigation because I thought Mr. Valdez had concluded and had submitted to the DPP.” And although the ComPol is “annoyed”, and sees at least “three occasions where the Auditor General recommended that the Police pursue certain things” nothing has or will happen, as far as he is concerned for the Police to pursue that, until and unless… So what, if anything does Whylie care about? His name. He cares deeply about his name and will spend every last copper he has, defending that. What he didn’t spend, was the time to properly deal with the Won Hon Kim matter.

Didn’t even read the file or apparently ask for it. What he clearly, admittedly won’t spend, is the time to pursue any immigration investigation until the Auditor General, the DPP or the Senate Select Committee report direct that this be done – and who knows, he may still require a court order to act. ComPol Whylie insists that he has served with distinction. He has.

Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie has the singular distinction of being the ONLY ComPol in Belize to ever have a Writ of Mandamus issued against him. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, in March of 2014 called the “Commissioner’s lack of action in the immigration matter was “unreasonable, irrational and unlawful.”

The Chief ordered ComPol Allen Whylie to investigate Hon. Elvin Penner “Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today ordered the Commissioner of Police to “accelerate and conclude” the police’s criminal investigation of the former Minister of State Elvin Penner and all others who had a role in the illegal issuance of a Belize passport and nationality certificate to the South Korean Won Hong Kim.”

Now THAT will forever distinguish this ComPol. Retired Superintendent Julio Valdez memorably testified before the Senate : “…if I receive a report of burglary and I visit a house and a find a dead man in there, I will not just leave the dead man and deal with the burglary, I will pick up the murder…” But the ComPol does not seem to be made as the same stuff as former Superintendent Julio Valdez. He might well step over the body until it was reported to him before he acts.

That is a fair comment given his own testimony and his actions over the past 5 years in the Won Hong Kim matter and anything involving Immigration. As Juvenal once observed : Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guardians? And does anyone still wonder why law enforcement gets so little respect in the Jewel?

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.


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