Tonight, Defense Minister John Saldivar is under another cloud of controversy: this time it's being alleged that he used Coast Guard vessels to transport his football team, the Belmopan Bandits to San Pedro for games. That's using public resources to pay for his private business and today's Reporter Newspaper says the US Embassy isn't happy about it. The US Government donated the vessels under very strict terms and sources tell us that the Americans have complained to Foreign Affairs about the alleged abuses.

The allegation, made first in the Belize Times last week is that the Coast Guard vessels were used to transport team members, management, family members and friends to San Pedro, whenever the Bandits have games scheduled on the island.

So, what is the US Embassy's specific interest? Well, the Boston Whalers which the US Embassy donated to the Coast Guard from as early as 2012 are allegedly among these vessels being used for the football friends and family ferry service.

Today's issue of the Reporter quotes a US Embassy spokesperson saying, quote, "The U.S. government has provided training and equipment, including boats, to the Belize Coast Guard. The primary purpose of these vessels is to deter and interdict criminal activity, particularly in support of counter-narcotics efforts."

We contacted John Saldivar for comment this evening, but up to news time, he hasn't responded to our text message requests.

Channel 7