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Police confront new frontier after major bust on offshore islands

Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2024. 5:50 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The so-called Peace in the Valley (PIV) gang has come under Police fire following recent murder incidents in their territory – and the scrutiny has intensified after three rifles and two other firearms, as well as a quantity of marijuana and cocaine, were recovered by Police over the past few days on two separate islands off the coast of Belize City.

According to Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, one of the islands is believed to be in use as a stash house for drugs. There had been prior reports of such but it could not be proven – until this bust.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs, called the bust “…one of the biggest busts of high-powered firearms in the history of this country. I haven’t seen such a cache of high-powered firearms altogether at once, so I want to commend the police on their bust…”

Perhaps to save their sources, the Commissioner on Friday declined to comment on whether the island in question is none other than St George’s Caye, the site of the Battle of St George’s Caye in 1798.

But he was prepared, earlier this week, to discuss the relationship between PIV and the Leadership Intelligence Unit (LIU), which has taken multiple hits in recent months between members being killed and others being caught up in criminal activity.

He reiterated that “The LIU is a vehicle that we are using to see how we can change the minds and hearts of these street figures. I can see where in some instances it is working. The LIU is not a shield for anybody and so I don’t want [anyone] to believe that because a particular person is a member of LIU or works with LIU that they are immune from criminal liability or the police going to their homes and search. I have always said that once police get information of anybody of crime or anything illegal the police are going to do what needs to be done regardless of who that person is. So “Drive” [Edwin Flowers] works closely with LIU. He is a person in the program, and we have tried our best to work with him and it goes back to what I have said. We police with a double-edged sword. We offer the dull side to the persons who want to change but once they start to perpetuate criminal acts, we have to use the sharp side of the sword and cut them off it is as simple as that.”

 

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