Tonight, a new set of a contraband cops are making news. This time they were caught smuggling a bag of contraband clothing - and they ran from Customs like common criminals - except these criminals were in a police pickup. On Saturday at around 2:00, Corporal Abner Marroquin was commander of the Isuzu D-Max #42-03 assigned to the Corozal police station when Customs tried to stop them at the Santa Elena border checkpoint to examine a large black bag they had in the pan of the pickup. The police drove through the regular checkpoint and accelerated out of the compound. So Customs had to set chase - and the police truck actively evaded them - all of this was caught on a customs officer cell phone camera. But the cops had an advantage because customs were in a car, so the pickup cut down a sugar road in Chan Chen village, and threw the bag in the bushes - just like what criminals do when the cops are chasing them. The D-MAX made a clean escape - and customs recovered the bag - which is similar to one of the "Bultos" - often seen being smuggled into Mexico.
And while the police ran, they couldn't hide. But Customs turned the video over to the commanding Office in Corozal - and that forced immediate action to avoid major embarrassment. Today the police department sent out a release saying, quote "The Commissioner of Police has since directed that an investigation into the matter be conducted which resulted in both officers being charged with Prejudice to Good Order and Discipline and placed on interdiction from duty."
This is the same charge that was used on the police officer caught on camera smuggling at Santa Cruz Village near Botes, Mexico.
Last night we told you about those alleged contraband cops from Corozal- who ran away from customs with a "bulto" full of clothes in the pan of the police patrol pickup. The thing is, customs caught it all on cell phone camera when it happened on Saturday, and then sent it to the officer commanding Corozal - which is why the Police Commissioner was forced to take immediate action. But customs didn't want to scandal the police department - with which they work closely - so the video was not sent to the media.
But, if it's a cell phone video being Whatsapped or emailed here and there, it will turn up on social media or the web eventually, and, today, it did. Someone posted the video on the web - and we have a full breakdown of it tonight:...
This is the police pickup fleeing from customs on the road into Chan Chen village. This is the actual pursuit and you can see the officers inside the D-Max driven by Constable Elston Rojas.
The customs officer's car overtakes the pickup and swallowed in a cloud of dust, Constable Rojas slows and stops the pickup.
But as soon as the customs officers look to get out of the car, the D-Max speeds off again - and customs follows behind: this is the pursuit down the road to Consejo.
On this rough road, clearly the police pickup has the advantage - and now it's Customs which can only see the police in a cloud of dust ahead.
But eventually the police cut into one of the sugar roads - this is when they allegedly tossed the "bulto" just like common criminals do when the police are chasing them.
Back in the cane field, the senior customs officer goes to recover the "bulto".
It's a 40 pound bag - which he's handling with a cloth to preserve fingerprints. It's so big it can scarcely fit into the trunk of the car. Customs says it was loaded with clothing: assorted slippers, socks and underwear - common contraband items smuggled in a most uncommon way.
As a result of that video, driver, Police Constable Elston Rojas and the vehicle commander Police Corporal 263 Abner Marroquin were charged disciplinarily with Prejudice to Good Order and Discipline and placed on interdiction from duty.
Rojas has been in the news before: In 2011, he was one of two police officers charged for committing an armed robbery in the Corozal Free Zone.