BELMOPAN, Fri. Feb. 5, 2021– During his remarks at Friday’s sitting of the House of Representatives, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing, Hon. Julius Espat said that Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), the government-owned company that manages the country’s major infrastructure projects, had reported to his Ministry that all the financial records of the company before the year 2019/2020 had been purged, because, according to the claims they reportedly made to the Ministry, “they didn’t have space.”
“The laws of Belize are quite clear; any private company should have its financials for the last 6 years,” Espat continued. He outlined that the Ministry is still unable to provide the proper documentation for various projects carried out by BIL. The Prime Minister has directed that a new, albeit temporary, board be appointed for BIL. According to Espat, the new board has decided to suspend all the activities of the company.
“The new board has found it in the interest of the people of Belize to suspend all business activities that BIL is doing for the next six months. The new board of directors has decided that they will suspend the General Manager upon a financial investigation of her actions,” Espat then announced.
He also announced that the new board has appointed the CEO’s from the Ministries of Works and Infrastructure Development and Housing to be interim managers of BIL for the next six months. An audit of all contracts has also been commissioned by the new board of directors, according to Minister Espat.
“We have a private company, that was set up against the rules and regulations of how companies are supposed to be run. Against all the financial regulations, against all the checks and balances, but I would like to remind anybody affiliated with any of the projects that once the audit is done, once the investigation is complete, if there is any criminal activity found, be aware that all proceeds of criminal activities can be considered money laundering.” Minister Espat declared.
“We spent over 100 million dollars without proper oversight. The people of Belize deserve to know where that money went. The mandate given to us, is a little separate from what I would like to happen, but I am a team player. The mandate given to us is to wind up the operations. I would want to kill BIL. We need to kill BIL!” Minister Espat concluded.