BDF audit comes at request of minister and ministry Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 November 2017 00:00

An investigation is still ongoing with regards to what was revealed by an executive summary of the Auditor General’s report, dated June 7, 2017, on the Belize Defence Force Fund. Although only a portion of that report has been seen, the audit has revealed several discrepancies as well as financial transactions that are more than questionable.

The portion of the report that has been revealed relates to the Belize Jungle Experience Ltd., a company owned by B.D.F.’s Lieutenant Colonel Charlton Roches. That business, according to the audit, was registered as a land development, management, and sales company. Contrary to what took place, the Auditor General expressed that the BDF has no need for the Belize Jungle Experience Ltd. to be providing them business.

The audit gives details of the transactions between Lt. Col. Roches, Belize Jungle Experience Ltd., and the BDF for the training of German Military personnel. Persons in the German Military are said to have received Jungle Training Packages which cost the German Army Headquarters more than $152,000 in July 2016. Earlier on May 20, 2016, another payment was made as well as other small deposits. These payments were made in the form of cheques to the BDF Fund at the Scotia Bank. Since the advent of the audit, Lt. Col. Roches has been on leave but the investigations continue.

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security, commented that it was the Ministry of National Security, the CEO of that ministry, and himself that asked that the audit be done. The report was accompanied with recommendations and as a result, the ministry and relevant personnel are following those recommendations, with most having been implemented already. The question as to whether or not Lt. Col. Roches will remain as a soldier will be determined by the general.