It was the Belize Times that first broke the news on December 20th, 2013. Since then, they have released 9 cheques; 6 of which are made out to, funeral Home Services, bike shops, chicken shops, all amounting to over $15,000, allegedly paid on Minister Castro’s behalf.
But more than that, Minister Castro was also receiving cheques written out directly to him; three such cheques amounting to almost $10,000 were published in the paper. However, according to the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, nine is a mere fraction of the total amount of cheques that Castro received from the Belize Airport Authority.
“Apparently, the member was not satisfied that they were paying of things on his behalf. There are checks made out to him. Check made out No. 004954 in the amount of $900 to Edmund Castro, Belize Bank Cheque Airport Authority; cheque No. 004597 in the anount of $4,000 to Edmund Castro, Belize Airport Authority; cheque No. 00 5066 in the amount of $5,156.55, made out to Edmund Castro. Man, this is absolute nonsense, Mr. Speaker. That is just a sampling, man; I have over 60 cheques, either made for the member’s personal use to him to cash or for him to use for political purposes or to help family members”.
“I don’t believe there are 60. The Leader of the Opposition did not recite 60 and I absolutely challenge him to produce 60. In terms of my discussions with the board, I am pretty confident that we are not talking about 60 and we do not expect that the Leader of the Opposition was on to a good thing that he would exaggerate. But it certainly not less than 6, 8, 10, whatever, and again, I don’t know how many ways there are to say this: it was wrong; in my view, completely wrong”.