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Major Land Fraud in Cayo? #547442
01/12/21 05:52 AM
01/12/21 05:52 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,488
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Eddie De La Rosa, "The Fish From Rivabattam"

On Friday in the House of Representatives, Minister of Natural Resources Cordel Hyde exposed a major land fraud scheme which he said was orchestrated by UDP political operatives in Cayo.

According to information dug up by Hyde's team since taking over the ministry: the schemers would use government databases to take the names and social security numbers of persons requesting assistance from government. From there, lands would be placed in these names - without the persons ever knowing - and then transferred to UDP personalities.

One man who says he knows all about it is Eddie De La Rosa. He's a former UDP political operative now living in the US. He says he moved there for his own safety. He told us today that what Hyde exposed is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Were there other people whose names were used based on their Social Security information without their knowledge?"

Eddie De La Rosa, Former Montero Operative
"Jules, I believe those are. Well, I noh believe. I know those are just, not even the beginning Jules, to tell you all what I know and what I have evidence for. So those are not even nothing compared to what I know and what evidence I have."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"How many parcels of land would you say were obtained in this manner using this scheme?"

Eddie De La Rosa, Former Montero Operative
"Ahm, more than 50 for sure, Jules, more than 50, more than 50, I wouldn't give you a specific number because I want to tell the Belizean people with the...I want to give evidence for, I want to keep my credibility strong."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"But, soh were these lots, were these individual lots? Or were they acreages, farmlands?"

Eddie De La Rosa, Former Montero Operative
"We had a lot of cases, they had a lot of cases where they were lots and a lot of acreages, I mean you heard it in the house, I mean there is a lot, a lot of acreage."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Was this happening only in the Cayo District?"

Eddie De La Rosa, Former Montero Operative
"Ah, no sir. No sir. Cayes, out in the cayes, mostly, and, in Santa Elena and in some other villages, noh? But I would really like to see something to be done if as much as returning these properties or these lands to the humble people of Caye Central, noh?"

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Was it only land fraud schemes?"

Eddie De La Rosa, Former Montero Operative
"(Laughs) Jules, there are lot more than you can ever imagine."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Are you prepared to offer evidence, for all these things you assert?"

Eddie De La Rosa, Former Montero Operative
"I'm not prepared, I'm ready Jules, I'm just waiting for the lands department to do their proper investigation - I'm not prepared, I've been ready. I will be cooperating with the Ministry of Lands, or the police department, or the audit department or the immigration department, or whichsoever ministry contact me to give them information, I am willing to."

De La Rosa will appear on Plus TV's Rise and Shine tomorrow - where he says he will talk about a fraudulent visa program he is also aware of.

We reached Rene Montero Sr.'s attorney, his son Rene Montero Junior for comment this evening. He told us, quote, "we will immediately file claims against any media house that makes defamatory statements against my client.

Making a statement does not mean it's true and you are being forewarned that we will sue against these baseless and untrue allegations."

Channel 7

Re: Major Land Fraud in Cayo? [Re: Marty] #547447
01/12/21 06:09 AM
01/12/21 06:09 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,488
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Former Lands Minister Responds to Land Scam Scandal

On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources Cordel Hyde detailed a massive land scam that had been festering for several years. In his statement by minister’s address, Hyde named former Minister of Works Rene Montero and former Works C.E.O. Errol Gentle for allegedly gobbling up huge tracks of lands in the Mountain Pine Ridge Area. Hyde also revealed that the then U.D.P. government had paid one, Barbara Harris, six million, sixty-seven thousand dollars for twenty-six acres of mangroves land in the Belama area. Instead of issuing the lands to deserving folks, the then U.D.P. government sold the parcel of land to Roosevelt Blades and a former U.D.P. senator for a paltry sum. Hyde revealed details of the alleged scam while the former Minister of Natural Resources, Hugo Patt, sat and listened. He got the opportunity to respond during the adjournment. According to Patt, what was done was not corrupted. Here is how he explained it.

Hugo Patt, Area Rep., Corozal North

“In the case, the twenty six acres that we purchased, that the government purchases from Miss Barbara Harris it was a land that was indentified and it was offered to the constituency of Collet. A designed was made, a plan was presented of some one hundred and twenty, one hundred and thirty house lots and these were to be issued to single mothers. These were to be issued to youths. These were to be issued to couples who were either renting or living with a family member. When we started to identified these people, it was very close to the election and it was these same people that came to us and indicated to us that look. They have a genuine concerns, one is that election was so close and secondly they fear that if the election went away and the now government came in government that these lands would be taken away. So it was on the basis of that and realizing that it would take some time, a couple of days to process the applications that a majority of these people came to us and told us, look we don’t know if we will be able to pay for these lands within the land that is left. It was on the basis of that that actually an idea was explored as to how it is we can put these lands in trust for the people of Collet. It was never meant member for us to get six million from Belizean tax payers’ money and actually benefit somebody. It was never meant for us to take that six million dollars to somebody to Mister Blades for twenty six thousand and it is not twenty six thousand as far as I recall, it would have been fifty eight thousand. And I want to bring it clear Madam Speaker because the way in which the narrative was presented it was presented in such a way that it seem that everything we did was a scheme, that it was corrupt. And that was never the case.”

D.P.M. Cordel Hyde Isn’t Buying Patt’s Explanation

Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde wasn’t buying Patt’s explanation and made it clear after his address. The D.P.M. told Patt that the U.D.P. government gave away millions of dollars to a single individual during economic hardships. He told Patt that the best thing they could have done is to leave the distribution of the parcels of land to the party that won the elections.

Cordel Hyde, Deputy Prime Minister

“You are talking about lands that the government of Belize paid for in the Freetown Constituency that you were trying to hold in trust for the Collet residents. Something wrong with that. Don’t you see that? And because elections were coming and you couldn’t issue those as you would like. You decided to put it in the hands of a crony, for a pittance. That’s six million dollars we are paying for the land. Six million and sixty seven thousand plus interest. It is a giveaway and there is no guarantee that once the elections passes and this man has possession of this land that he will do what he you intend for him to do. So the best thing would have been to leave that alone. Let the masses decide what they want to do. And the masses of the people chose us and now we have a responsibility to correct that. That is why I said, make the man come for his money and behave himself and we will make sure that single mothers, and first time landholders get the land. That is our responsibility. That is our mandate.”

Channel 5

Re: Major Land Fraud in Cayo? [Re: Marty] #547496
01/14/21 05:20 AM
01/14/21 05:20 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,488
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

UDP Standing By Montero, Sorta

The opposition UDP has been rocked by an expose of major land fraud - which allegedly occurred in Cayo Central during the term of former Minister of Works Rene Montero. This is according to documentation unearthed by the new minister of Natural Resources Cordel Hyde.

In Friday's House Meeting, he alleged that functionaries of Mointero operated a scheme where lands were put in the names of persons who had no idea their identities were being used. This was done by accessing their social security number and signature after these mostly needy persons applied for assistance under Christmas Cheer and other programs.

From there - the allegation is that lands would be put in these person's names without their knowledge and then allegedly flipped into the names of political, family, or company associates of Montero.

Again, that is the allegation laid out by Minister Hyde in the house, and corroborated by former UDP political operative Eddie de La Rosa - who worked closely with Montero.

De La Rosa alleges it happened to hundreds of people without their knowledge - an allegation which, if true would be consistent with a government closer to a kleptocracy than a democracy.

Today, the UDP party chairman and former ranking Minister Michael Peyrefitte said they cannot jump to conclusions based solely on the unproven allegations of a PUP Minister:

Michael Peyrefitte, Senator
"If people have evidence then bring the evidence, if there was any wrongdoing then they'll go from there but you can't just allege you have to bring evidence, then if the state decides that they want to make any move then Mr Montero has all rights."

"We will become concerned if and when credible evidence is produced, not just hearsay, not just innuendos, evidence. So we will look at the evidence then we will have a discussion on it and take a position on it. But like the party leader has made very clear, if anybody is found to be guilty of any wrongdoing in the past administration he will not be one to defend it because we must stand on principle as a political party because wrong is wrong however we are not going to crucify somebody who belongs to our party simply because a PUP says he was an allegedly guilty of something."

Again, this has been alleged also by Eddie De La Rosa, who for many years, was a UDP inside operator.

Channel 7

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