ORANGE WALK–The Guardian’s headline story of Sunday, December 7, 2014, “Johnny Briceño’s driver died leaving behind 7 million dollars?” has been described by current PUP Orange Walk Central area representative, Hon. John Briceño, as “completely absurd and ridiculous” in an interview with Amandala today.
The Guardian, the mouthpiece of the ruling UDP, claimed that an Orange Walk man who had been employed as Briceño’s driver died leaving behind assets worth “somewhere in the region of $7 million.”
Earlier this week we were informed that the body of Anthony “Tutch” Gillett, Briceño’s former driver, was recently exhumed from the Orange Walk cemetery where he had been laid to rest. The exhumation followed an internal family dispute over assets, including his house, that he had owned before his death.
Gillett died seven years ago, in 2007, and the exhumation took place two weeks ago, but the story has spilled into the public domain, not only because exhumation is a very rare occurrence, but also because we understand that his body was dug up in order to confirm his paternal relationship to a female child whom he had reportedly fathered with his former girlfriend from Belmopan.
The story took a sensational turn this morning when The Guardian hit the streets and the allegation surfaced that Gillett had supposedly left behind an estate and a vast amount of financial assets to the tune of $7 million which, according to the newspaper, “had accumulated in various bank accounts before he died.”
Amandala contacted Briceño today, and he classified the rumors as “the most absurd statement ever.” He added that Gillett had only left behind “a small 3-bedroom house and a small savings of a few thousand dollars that his brother is fighting the mother of his child for.”
He explained that Gillett had procured a small loan from the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) with which he was able to build the house, which was still incomplete at the time of his death, and that his former girlfriend, with whom he had a daughter, reportedly 7, is trying to make claims for the assets on behalf of the child; however, Gillett’s brother, who was put in charge of building the house, is also making claims as the beneficiary of the assets, and thus, Gillett’s family is trying to determine whether or not he is actually the father of the child whom, we understand, he claimed as his own before his death.
As a result, permission was sought from the Supreme Court in order to exhume the body and verify, via a posthumous DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) sample, if Gillett is or is not the father of the child.
Briceño mentioned that Gillett, whom he had known since he (Gillett) was 10 years old, grew up with his (Briceño’s) family, and was “one of the few Minister’s drivers who was not involved in any shady deals” and was an honest and dependable worker up until his death in 2007.
Briceño contends that the allegation that his former driver had amassed a substantial amount of wealth is one of the “most ridiculous statements,” and that it is just politics because “there is not one ounce of truth to this thing.” He did add that he had heard wild rumors to the effect that Gillett had left behind up to $16 million in assets.