BELIZE CITY, Wed. Dec. 1, 2021 — Embattled Assistant Commissioner of Police Marco Vidal will have to face the Security Services Commission and may be subjected to suspension due to “administrative failures” that occurred during his management of the Commander of Operations Strike Team, which is now seen by the public as a hub of illicit activity within the Police Department after several members of the team were detained in connection with a drug plane landing near Bladen Village on November 4. Since the detention of four of his former subordinates, ACP Vidal has been on administrative leave, but Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told reporters at a press conference today that at this time, there is no evidence linking Vidal to any illegal narco activity. Rather, said Commissioner Williams, Vidal is facing disciplinary measures for any omissions or negligence on his part during his term as Commander of Operations.
“We have seen where, as the Commander of Operations and the person who was in charge of the COST team, that he could have done certain things to prevent what happened and he did not. So administratively, he will be held accountable for those,” explained Williams at the press conference.
It is expected that Vidal will be suspended by the Security Services Commission as early as next week.
“He is still on leave. I think his leave would end on the sixth of December, and by then we should [have] already approached the [Security] Services Commission for his suspension to take effect as the leave comes to an end. While yes, there is a move to suspend, it will be based on administrative failures. The investigation so far has not unearthed anything to suggest that Mr. Vidal was involved or in cahoots with those persons,” stated Commissioner Williams.
While a detailed outline of the administrative failures for which Vidal is being held accountable was not given, one indication of a lack of adherence within his strike team to the department’s protocol and procedures was the presence of vehicles in their special fleet that were commandeered by the COST team without going through a formal requisition process at the Ministry of Finance.
“What we normally do is that we would write to the Ministry of Finance, showing how we come across the vehicle, if there is any owner, if it is lost and abandoned, if it is stolen, then we attach the Interpol report that is stolen, and based on that then the Ministry of Finance will write back to us to say that we can go ahead and license and register the vehicle and incorporate it into the police vehicle fleet,” Commissioner Williams explained at today’s press conference.
That process was allegedly sidestepped by Vidal, who allowed a number of those vehicles to be used by members of his team in their daily operations.