This week, young businessman Thyrell Hyde of Belmopan came forward alleging that the Police Department have been ignoring his complaint of being robbed by officers in September. Hyde alleges that he and a group of friends was stopped and searched by police who found an envelope containing business materials and a sum of money in his vehicle.
But the officers got greedy and forced Thyrell Hyde to go to the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) of a local bank, demanded his PIN number, and used his bank card to take out a further $520 in addition to taking money and other valuables he had on him, for a grand total of $3,830. Hyde has complained to the Department and to Ombudsman Lionel Arzu and says he plans court action as well. Today, National Security Minister John Saldivar condemned the incident and said the matter is in the hands of the DPP.
Reporter: “First of all, have you seen the Tyrel Hyde ATM video and what are your comments about it?”
Reporter: “Is it something that aggrieves you to see a police officer shaking down a citizen, a young man in an ATM checking down if balance and all of that?”
Hon. John Saldivar: “Well, certainly! I will leave no stone unturned in trying to get to the bottom of what exactly took place”.
Reporter: “Should these people be in the Police Department; the persons that did that to you?”
Hon. John Saldivar: “No they should certainly should not, and that’s why we are doing our investigation to make sure that whatever we can punish, we will punish”.
Reporter: “Sir, when did you become aware of it? You did on the media?”
Hon. John Saldivar: “No, I believe that the media got in touch with me some time ago and at that time, her son had not gone in yet to make a statement and I asked her to make her son go in to make a statement. Apparently, he did, so that’s why the police is now able to investigate”.
Neither Thyrell Hyde nor his friends were physically assaulted, but he says he has tried to recover his property but to no avail.