Belize City, December 2nd, 2014

Highly sensitive police intelligence on the gang networks in Belize has been leaked out of the Police Department, and is at risk of falling into the wrong hands and undermining organised-crime probes and potentially endangering the lives of Police Officials and citizens.

The BELIZE TIMES has learnt that the intelligence data was mismanaged by a Police Officer who lost the device, a flash drive, which contained a back-up copy of the information. That flash-drive, with all the sensitive content, was recklessly handled and has now fallen in the hands of a private citizen, who we understand is resisting returning it to the Police.

The intelligence data, some of which the BELIZE TIMES has obtained through reliable sources, contains information on gang networks and how they operate with certain resources. It lists names and contains detailed information of the key players involved. The data represent months of work by the Police’s special branch department. If gangs get the information it could weaken the Police’s anti-gang efforts tremendously, and even give gangs the advantage as they can pre-empt police action.

The Police Department has launched separate probes to find out how the device got into the hands of a private citizen. The officer responsible has been questioned.

The Ministry of National Security has remained silent in the face of this latest security breach. Minister John Saldivar’s apparent nonchalant attitude is consistent with his dealing with recent matters which turned into huge public scandals, such as the Guatemalans building a military base on Hunting Caye and the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie because of inadequate security at one of our prime tourist spots in the Cayo District.

The public at the very least deserves an explanation of what is going at the Police Department.

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