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Police Raid Former Lands Commissioner's House, Find Cash Stash #547291
01/05/21 06:12 AM
01/05/21 06:12 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,003
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

He was once the most powerful man in the Lands Department - but tonight, former Lands Commissioner Wilbert Vallejos is being investigated after a large sum of cash was found in his home in Patchakan. This afternoon the police's Mobile Interdiction Team and the BDF raided the homes of Wilbert and his brother Narciso Vallejos. They weren't at home - because Wilbert had taken Narcicso to see the doctor - as he recovers from COVID 19.

The team didn't find anything in Narciso's house but they did find cash in the home where Wilbert Vallejos lives with his mother.

Police came upon $69,800 Belize dollars, along with $1,170 US dollars, and $10,000 pesos.

Police took his mother into custody - and she remains there. We are told that Wilbert Vallejos is reportedly at a private hospital with his brother. His mother remains detained, and police are asking him to present himself.

A family member told us that the cash can be explained because Wilbur's mother is a major cane farmer - and her son - who works in the US financial sector sent the foreign currency.

Reports say the police have called in the Financial Intelligence Unit to make an assessment. And while having such a large stash of cash can be viewed as suspicious - it's not a crime - and, in these cases, taxes are usually assessed and government takes a chunk.

But, what's interesting is that the family says after they found the cash and detained the parents, police went back and confiscated Vallejos's computer - while only minors were at the house.

We'll keep following this story closely because the view of the Briceno administration is that Vallejos - who served as lands commissioner for 10 years - had knowledge of many land deals under the UDP - deals which are now under studied review for irregularity.

Vallejos told us 7News on Friday that he resigned as Commissioner after a debilitating bout with COVID 19, and because - after 10 years as Commissioner - it was time for someone else to do the job. He had worked in the Ministry for 22 years.

Channel 7

Re: Police Raid Former Lands Commissioner's House, Find Cash Stash [Re: Marty] #547312
01/06/21 05:54 AM
01/06/21 05:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,003
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

A Shady Land Deal Involving the Former Commissioner of Lands?

Former Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos made headlines on Monday following a raid on his property in Patchakan, Corozal District.  During the operation, officers assigned to the Mobile Intercept Team seized over sixty-nine thousand Belize dollars in cash, as well as assorted currencies in Pesos and U.S. dollars.  While the Financial Intelligence Unit is investigating that matter, another allegation is being made against the embattled Vallejos.  Andrea Chavarria-Requeña states that she was duped out of a property she purchased in Big Falls, Toledo District.  According to the resident, she was led to believe that a land document, sans the official seal and stamp of the Ministry of Natural Resources, was an authentic title.  That is until she had a rude awakening that someone else had bought the same piece of land and she had to discontinue construction.  Chavarria-Requeña told News Five that she believes that the erstwhile Commissioner of Lands is aware of the dubious transaction.

Andrea Chavarria-Requeña, Resident, Big Falls Village

“I went to the lands office and I meet Mr. Serrano, the lands man who was in PG, and I asked him about a land and he said, “We are here to help people.”  He said, “This land is private.”  But I tell ahn well which one is available, and he told me, “This one is available.”  So I tell ahn, well how can I do it to apply for the land being that it’s available?  He told me that you need to apply for a survey and then you get a sketch and then you take it Belmopan or bring it here to PG.  So my nephew told me about a woman that helps to get things to Belmopan, to get papers, property papers or lease.  So I said well I trust the person because she is my nephew’s neighbor and I said well, I will try it and I will go ahead.  So I started and I paid and just before elections I gave her – I don’t want to call the amount that I gave her, but I gave her a good amount of money saying that I will get, in six weeks time I will get my certificate; my title for the land.  So Thursday, which was December thirty-first, 11:30 a.m., Ms. Amelia Johnson and Andy Johnson and a police officer [whose] name was Titus Parham, they told me that we have to stop doing what we’re doing on this land otherwise we were going to lose everything.  But he never did, the police officer never did show me any property paper from Ms. Amelia Johnson, but he wanted to see mine.  So I took him home with a clean heart, I didn’t know that my paper didn’t have any stamp on it, so I showed him the paper and I told him, “This is what I have.”  So he went back and he told my husband, he said, “Yes, your wife has a receipt but she needs to go and check at Belmopan on what’s wrong because it doesn‘t have a stamp from the Belmopan office.”  So he told me that you have to go and check and I said, well I will go and check.  So I came to Cayo, that was yesterday, Monday the fourth, and I went to San Ignacio Police Station and I showed them the paper and they told me that it’s not a perfect paper.  So they told me that you have to do so and so and then well, right after that, before the day was over I heard they called [out] the Commissioner of Lands.  I mean to say this nastiness that is taking place in Lands has to stop.”

Who Has the Money from the Land Transaction?

When asked about the monies Chavarria-Requeña has invested in the purchase of the property, she says that she is expecting answers from the Lands Department regarding the unstamped documents.

Duane Moody

“The monies, obviously it’s thousands of dollars that you’ve paid.  Who got those monies, because if there is no record…”

Andrea Chavarria-Requeña, Resident, Big Falls Village

“Well I would say it’s the Commissioner of Lands.  Obviously, because if the person is working for the Commissioner of Lands, it would have to be the Commissioner of Lands that has it.  So I don’t know what they’re going to do because too much illegal stuff is happening in the office and they need to get from the bottom, from Punta Gorda to Belize City or to wherever the lands office is.  And the point is, when I started to work on the land is because the Commissioner of Lands sent the same person to investigate the matter because when I saw a surveyor in the land, I called her right away.  I said something is going wrong here, let me know and then she said she called the Commissioner of Lands and then he told her that, he sent her to PG to investigate the matter and the girl in the lands officer told her, “Yes Ms. Amelia is applying for two point five acres, but not the four point sixty-one acres.”  So I want to know what’s the problem because she says she owns it from 2013 but they never did show me any property papers, any documents that they when the police went there and stopped us.  We had the sand and the cement already mixed up, ready to build the cement post.”

Another Victim of Land Hustle Comes Forward

Another woman, a relative of Chavarria-Requeña, who lives in Santa Elena also, shared a recent experience with News Five involving a similar land transaction whereby a proxy who reportedly works on behalf of the lands department accepted money for a title.  According to Carolyn Westby, she too got swindled out of a property that had for many years been leased by her late father.

Carolyn Westby, Santa Elena Resident

“I mih apply fi my pa land.  It was a lease for like many years.  Growing up, my dad had that land but he never had it in property.  So, well we live here, this year will be like four years but we neva really know this lady, she deal with land.  That was just last year we found out that she helped people with land and we thought she was real, right.  She did a good job and thing.  Well it turned out that that wasn’t so.  So we got her to do a, she said she could help with the lease paper.  She said all I need fi tek da my pa certificate and then some, and then when she took that, she brought in some other papers for me to sign.  So I just signed those papers took it in and afterwards she bring back the, maybe two or three weeks time she bring di instrument paper but I neva know that needed a signature or a stamp and that neva was on it.  She seh that neva needed, da instrument paper was legit, that it was the real thing.  So we believed her.”

Duane Moody

“In that process, you’ve been paying monies and you still have not gotten that title.”

Carolyn Westby

“No title.  I had just gotten a paper written that said I should have gone in. A request to go in the land office for a little meeting right, but somehow, something came up and he wouldn’t be in the office that day, the lady told me, so they rescheduled it.  So that was it.  I never did went in to see him.”

Duane Moody

“But by then you had already paid all your money.”

Carolyn Westby

“I had already paid him some money, yes.”

Duane Moody

“What’s the process now?  You are finding out that the document that you have is not legit.  You’ve already paid your monies and that meeting did not happen.  What happened to yoh pa land?  What happened to the money that you’ve invested?”

Carolyn Westby

“I don’t know what to say, I just know I wahn back my money.  If that paper isn’t real, I need back my money.”

Channel 5

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