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PM Barrow Says Former Minister of State Has To Explain Diversion of Funds To Him

PM Barrow Says Former Minister of State Has To Explain Diversion of Funds To Him
January 18
11:42 2020

PM Barrow Says Former Minister of State Has To Explain Diversion of Funds To Him

By Marion Ali – Saturday, Jan. 18th. 2020 – –

Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams says he thinks there can be criminal charges brought against some well-placed people in public office following a critical Audit Report for the financial year April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.

The Report was received at the Office of the Prime Minister last October and released late this week, and suggests that large quantities of monies were spent with no proper procedures followed, or lacked proper accounting, and in the case of former Minister of State in Sports, monies were diverted from public to private accounts with no proper explanation given.

At Friday’s House Meeting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that he will require that former Minister to explain to him those transfer of funds.

“I do want to say that to the extent that there is an allegation as it seems to me a violation of ethics – conflict of interest -since that deputy minister is no longer in government as a minister, but is the Consul General of Belize in New York, he will certainly have to meet with me and offer me, as natural justice requires, his explanation with respect with what the Auditor General says, and I simply want to assure this House that I will act on the basis of what is in that report.”

There were several other names mentioned, including that of former Sports Council Director, who did not provide answers when asked about several questionable transfers of public funds, and on occasions where the monies disbursed for certain events were less than that which was allotted for those events.

Prime Minister Barrow said he expects that the offices of the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will bring about criminal charges against those who engaged in corruption.

Police Commissioner, Chester Williams says that even upon first glance, he has detected “criminal implication on the part of certain persons.”

“I have had a discussion with the Auditor General. I’ll be getting a copy of the Report on Monday. I have already tasked a senior investigator and that senior investigator will be the one to carry through that investigation. We’re going to put together the relevant evidence and then we’ll send it to the Director of Public Prosecution for her determination,” Williams said on Friday.

There are other questionable spending that were highlighted in the Report that pertains to contracts that were given out for varying degrees of construction and expansion works at Julian Cho High School in Toledo, where a number of teachers were awarded contracts without any proper tendering process followed.

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