As posted in The Belize Times
In the year-ending issue of the BELIZE TIMES, we promised to deliver yet another bombshell of a hustle involving none other than the already-embattled Edmund “Clear the Checks” Castro. Well, it is with deep regret that we begin the new year with a follow-up report that the hustle is actually a lot bigger and a lot worse and must be exposed.
It has now been confirmed that thousands of dollars were issued to Minister Castro by “the Board” of the Belize Airport Authority which is headed by two well-known UDP cronies, Kenworth Tillett as General Manager and Barbara Miller as Chairwoman.
To make matters worse, Tillett has given an interview to Channel 7 News in which he confirmed the questionable practice, but claimed that the first evidence of the hustle which was exposed by the BELIZE TIMES with the publication of a copy of cheque #004951 for $4,000 written out to Minister Castro, was actually funds approved and paid supposedly to assist with the funeral expenses for his mother. But why would a Minister of State who barely does anything, yet gets a huge salary and perks, need to get that kind of measly assistance?
Not only did Tillett go on record to confirm that it was his signature on the check along with the General Manager, but in typical Dean Barrow fashion, he had the audacity to proclaim that his office did nothing wrong and that it could withstand the public scrutiny and was ready for the backlash that such a scandal would bring.
Well, little did Kenworth Tillett know that the BELIZE TIMES also has in its possession another check issued to Coye’s Funeral Home in the sum of $3,337.50 to cover funeral expenses for Castro’s mother. So then Mr. Tillett, how do you explain the $4,000.00 check issued to your Minister Castro?
And, can Tillett or Miller explain cheque #005064, also issued by the Belize Airport Authority to Edmund Castro, for a whopping $5156.55? This cheque was issued only weeks after the one for $4,000 in the month of May 2013. Was it also approved by the Board, and what is the excuse for this money going into the Minister’s hands?
These two cheques which sound off alarm bells are not the only ones in our possession. There are many more, even some issued to one of Minister Castro’s children who the Minister seemed to have forced into a Government department. He tried at the Port Authority but was resisted, but found willing accomplices at the Belize Airport Authority.
Reliable sources inside the Belize Airport Authority say that the hustle has been going on for quite some time now and when questioned about the irregular practice, the Board’s response was simple: “we had to create a budget for the Minister because he wasn’t doing too good (financially)”.
Imagine that Belizeans! The same Minister who it is alleged received $2,000 per visa recommendation for Chinese nationals was doing so bad that a government department had to be converted into his personal piggy bank. The audacity of this UDP government!
And where is Dean Oliver Barrow in all of this? He continues to preside over the most corrupt, incompetent, heartless and now downright facey government Belize has ever had.
The fact that a Minister can dip his hand into the public coffers so freely, with consent of the administrators and without public knowledge is indeed a scary thought and one can only imagine the depth and magnitude of this latest hustle by Edmund Castro and the Belize Airport Authority.
It is once again time for you to defend the indefensible Dean Barrow. Defend UDP corruption Mr. PM. Your silence is deafening.
As posted in 7NewsBelize
Paying for funerals – it’s one of the most basic and frequent responsibilities of Area Representatives in Belize, so much so that it’s a fixture in the political culture. But what about when a minister, or a minister of state gets one of the departments in his ministry to pay for his mother’s funeral expenses?
According to Kenworth Tillett, the General Manager of the Belize Airport Authority that’s why he issued this four thousand dollar cheque to his minister of state Edmond Castro in April of this year.
The cheque was published in today’s Belize Times which alleges that Castro is using the Authority as “a personal piggy bank.” But General Manager Tillett told us that they were assisting with funeral expenses, and that it was duly approved by the board. He said the cancelled cheque was “illegally photocopied” by a former employee but he calls it a non-story, says his office has no worries, and that it can withstand the public scrutiny.