BELMOPAN, Fri. July 3, 2020– Corporal Donald Pinelo of the Belmopan police was charged yesterday in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court with 6 counts of forging official documents. No plea was taken and he was offered bail of $10,000 with 2 sureties of $5,000 each.
Pinelo was able to meet bail and was ordered to return to court on Wednesday, October 28. He was prohibited from leaving the country without getting permission from the court.
Police said that the charges were brought against Corporal Pinelo as a result of an ongoing investigation into the issuance of bogus firearm license approval letters — which is a scheme that was being carried out in the Firearms Clerk Office at the Belmopan police headquarters and was uncovered by Police Commissioner Chester Williams, who, after making a spot check at a gun dealer to see if the system he had implemented in January was working well, found forged approval letters.
Senior Superintendent Hilberto Romero, Deputy Director of National Crimes Investigation, announced that an investigation had been launched into the scheme, and they have recovered 34 firearms from the individuals to whom bogus licenses had been issued. The firearms were declared illegal because the approval letters under which they were bought were fake.
Superintendent Donald Sutherland, Commander of the Professional Standards Branch, told the media that multiple charges will be brought against Pinelo, who will be dealt with internally for violation of the Police Department’s code of conduct and bringing the department into disrepute.
Pinelo has been placed on interdiction.