Features — 28 December 2012 — by Albert J. Ciego

James “Chain Saw Man” Swaso, a known sidekick of Goldburn “Easy Glen” Adolphus, could not convince Police that he was innocent of accusations by Minister of Housing Michael Finnegan that he was one of the men using his name to hustle businesspersons.

Swaso was arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate Court today on charges of theft and obtaining property by deception. Police say that he is the one who has been scamming people in Minister Finnegan’s name.

Police say that Tony Griffith, the owner of Belize Waste Control, located at Mile 2 ½ on the George Price Highway, Belize City, reported to them that at about 1:00 p.m. on November 30, someone who identified himself as Hon. Michael Finnegan called his office and requested financial assistance of $1,250 ”to be handed over to two of his boys.”

Griffith agreed, and five minutes later two men came to his business. One mentioned that he was there on Mr. Finnegan’s behalf. A check for the value of $1,250 was written in the name of James Swaso. Three weeks later, say Police, on Thursday, December 20, the businessman discovered that Hon. Michael Finnegan had not requested or authorized anyone to collect any monies on his behalf.

Police say Swaso is also guilty of obtaining money under false pretences from the owner of Salvador W. Habet Limited. The owner of the business, which is located at 34 Regent Street West, Belize City, told police that around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, December 17, someone who identified himself as Hon. Michael Finnegan called his business and requested financial assistance of $450 to do a party for some workers who had painted Albert Street.

Salvador Habet, Jr. agreed to assist with $300, and arrangements were made that James Swaso, known to the complainant for more than five years, would get the money. Two hours later Swaso showed up and collected the sum of $300. To his chagrin, the following day, Tuesday, December 18, Habet discovered that Minister Finnegan had not made the abovementioned call to him.

Swaso, 38, was granted and met bail in the sum of $8,000. He is to reappear in court on February 13, 2013.

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