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$$$ vanish at Southern Regional

Headline$$$ vanish at Southern Regional

Auditor General has completed audit of hospital; police report filed

Auditor General Dorothy Bradley confirmed to Amandala today that her office has forwarded the results of an audit—looking into allegations of embezzlement of several thousands of dollars at the Southern Regional Hospital—to the Ministry of Health.

Amandala was unable to reach Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, for official comment on the audit results.

We understand that the results of the compliance audit, with recommendations, were sent over to his office Wednesday. At the time of this report, the Government of Belize had not yet released a statement on the matter.

Just prior to the weekend, news broke that Nasly Somerville, SRH Administrator, was facing suspension, pending an audit to look into allegations that funds earmarked for the National Health Insurance program had vanished.

CEO Allen had confirmed to 7 News that there were irregularities with respect to 3 cheques totaling $7,060—funds for baby delivery at the hospital, and nearly 200 cheques could not be accounted for.

We understand that although some banking information, requested as a part of the investigation, remains outstanding, the compliance audit found enough evidence for the Government to proceed with action.

Bradley told Amandala she hopes that a criminal investigation would ensue; however, the police can only step in after the Ministry of Health submits its complaint.

According to the Auditor General, she cannot disclose the specifics of the audit to us, since the compliance audit was requested by the Ministry of Health.

The criminal investigations are under the purview of the Dangriga branch of the Crimes Investigation Branch. Senior Superintendent of Police Robert Mariano, who heads the Southern Zone, confirmed to Amandala this evening that a police report has been filed and the matter is under investigation.

We also understand that officials are meeting at the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga this afternoon.

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