ADO Bus impounded; woman fined for contraband veggies

A bus belonging to ADO Bus Company of Mexico which conducts non-stop two-way runs from Belize to Merida and beyond, and crossed into Belize on Sunday from Chetumal, was impounded by local immigration authorities after it was discovered to be carrying contraband vegetables.

The Reporter has confirmed with Immigration officials that the regular run was delayed for several hours and impounded, and the person who loaded the veggies on board, a woman, took responsibility for the freight, and a representative of the bus company, Leonides Chavarria, came up with $3,000, the penalty for transporting uncustomed goods.

The woman, a Belizean, was fined $10,000 for her doing, and was reportedly given a time frame within which to find the money.  She and the bus were allowed to leave after Immigration officials processed the two offending parties.

Immigration officials had reportedly been suspicious that people had been using the buses to smuggle uncustomed goods to and from Belize for a while.

Their stiff penalty on the bus company has prompted ADO to carry out its own formal screening and inspection of luggages that are loaded on its buses for cross-border trips.

Part of the screening process includes briefing ADO terminal managers in Belize and Mexico what are allowed or disallowed items on the buses.

The decision was a stipulation that the company made unilaterally and without consultation with the Mexican Embassy, which has declined comment on the matter.

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