I profess, I don't know the answer to that question! From reading the newspapers and other media, one gets the impression that Courtenay might be the biggest piratical scoundrel hero, the port town rogues have produced in this generation? On the other hand, when he was taken to court, the article in the Reporter of April 30th, 2000 says, he was acquitted in the criminal trial, of stealing over $3. 5 million from the ordinary taxes that poor people pay into the Social Security Fund. Yet in the civil trial he has been found guilty! Not being a lawyer up on the technicalities of these type of goings on, maneuverings and such, this sure leaves this poor fisherman scratching his head in wonderment.
The fact is, that over $3.34 million dollars of your tax money disappeared and has never been recovered. That part I understand! I also can gather, that the dastardly deed was done using an off the shelf "IBC" in which no one admits ownership. All this impression, I get from the media accounts. What also seems a fairly accurate impression, was that it was done with a piratical band of mafia gang cronies in the port town of Belize City, who were running the government back in 1992, called the Cabinet of the PUP political party.
In recent articles, the impression I got, was that the judge said, that Courtenay never showed, or provided any evidence, that any supposed theoretical dealings with this secret ownership paper IBC ( International Business Corporation) were offered in defense. So the whole thing was a lie. That's the impression I get from the media reports.
Interesting reading, these scandals. This is the same guy I believe that gave the Constitution that perpetuated colonial rule, by port town gangs in the population representative system. I may be wrong here, if I am I apologize. Not being in the port town, my media sources are scarce and widely spaced. We often miss issues of reports and never see free government propoganda publications anymore. I only know what I read in the papers and on the internet.
At any rate, one would expect from the media coverage that Vernon Harrison Courtenay is going to go down in Belizean history as the most successful pirate of this generation in the old capital port town of Creoles. That's my impression, so far. True or not! I'm waiting for evidence to correct those impressions and conclusions. As a historian of Belize, published and all, I'm interested; because he recently got off with connivance of the Prime Minister Said Musa, the last Reporter newspaper I received ,said. Or words to that effect. Musa comes out in the media as an accomplice and tarred with the same piratical brush. Research shows he was a Minister in the Cabinet back in 1992 when this so-called robbery took place. One would love to know the truth of what is going on here and what really happened to the over $3 million taxes that went missing. I can't figure if Courtenay and Musa are angels, patriotic dedicated, hard working citizens, or pirates. Can you? If so, tell me which way to think and on what basis that I might have missed?
On the other hand in an earlier generation, the greatest pirate of World War II era in the port Belize City, is undeniably one of the Aguilar's, I believe it was ( not sure of the name)? Reputedly, this family with dual citizenship in Mexico and Belize ( then the colony of British Honduras) who allegedly supplied German U Boats torpedoing merchant ships in the Caribbean with diesel fuel, off Calabash Caye in Turneffe Atoll. Being more Mexican than British, it must have seemed like a good financial deal. Wonder how much he made, in comparison to purchasing power today, with what Courtenay got, according to the courts in the amount of $3.34 million the newspaper says?
Which one was the bigger pirate? If you get away with it and keep the loot, you are a Belizean Creole folk hero for the port town people.
The fueling of the U Boats that were torpedoing allied merchant shipping has to titillate the imagination, being as it was actually supposed to be done in British waters? That has to be a con game of magnificent imagination and cajones! A pirate like that you could admire.
On the other hand, I remember when Louis Sylvester our area representative got suspended from his ministerial post because the newspaper published a photo of a cashed cheque, supposedly for a foreign investor bribe. Don't remember the details, it was around $2000 if I remember rightly. Louise of course got re-elected. Reason was, he was only fleecing foreigners. We voters didn't mind that. The foreigners keep coming to Belize with wildcat schemes they want the Belmopan government to pay for and ripping them off was okay from a Belizean point of view. Louise never ripped of his constituency though. He was a gentleman pirate. Rob foreigner schemers and con men, but not locals! The unspoken creed of those times. He always looked after his constituency first.
But the missing $3.5 million sticks in the craw. A good pirate, the Creoles of Belize City like, especially when it was one of their own. A scam done like this with finesse and the money is still missing would be admired in the port Belize City. I don't think those with jobs and social security deductions are going to like it though, when they want to collect that old age social security and get government excuses, cause the money is gone! That is a different kind of piracy and against the creed.
I'm still scratching my head and wondering. Is Courtenay a pirate? Where did that $3.34 million go? What really happened to the money? Who got what in the cabinet port town gang from the PUP political party? How was the money shared, divided up, if at all?
What a mystery? But $3.34 million of poor peoples taxes for their old age is still missing and I never read anything of where it is? Where is it?
Far as I can tell from reading the papers at this juncture, is that Courtenay is clean as a whistle. Beat the criminal charge and beat the court ordered paying back of the missing money. The conclusion must be, that he is an upright honest dedicated hardworking citizen and we should make him head of Social Security Administration again, or the building of the Chalillo dam maybe? We need honest dedicated people like him in government don't we?
Ask our Prime Minister Musa, I'm sure he would agree!