Screen_Shot_2014-07-22_at_7.44.33_PMA few days ago the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association received the bad news that they were suspended by FLOCERT after receiving 8 non-compliances following an audit conducted a few weeks ago by the organization. Four of those non-compliances are considered major and include child labor at the cane fields and the fraud of $78,000.

 

As previously mentioned the audit revealed that during the period of 16th March 2012 to 15th May 2014 some employees of the association paid themselves increased salaries.

 

The audit also showed that payment for loans obtained by some employees had been entered in the registry when the reality was that monies for the loan had not been deducted from the employee’s salary.


On Sunday during the BSCFA’s Annual General Meeting, the general membership was informed about the fraud, of course the reaction was as expected as the news did not sit too well with cane farmers.


The report given to cane farmers on Sunday shows that eight employees paid themselves increased salaries which were deposited into their personal bank accounts. As for the loan payments, the report shows that six employees benefited from the reduction of loan payments when not one cent was deducted from their salary.


So are these individuals? Well, we are unable to say because on Sunday cane farmers, as well as media were basically sworn into secrecy.


Oscar Alonso- CEO, BSCFA


“Lo que yo voy a pedir a cada canero acá este reporte lo estamos dando porque  somos una Asociación privada, podemos dar esa información con los nombres para que ustedes sepan pero el momento que ustedes salgan de esa portada ustedes tienen que tener la responsabilidad  de no dar ese papel a ningún medio de comunicación porque si la persona sabe que usted se lo dio le puede tal vez llevar a la corte.  Aquí tenemos gente de medio, aquí los tenemos pero le hemos dicho a ellos que ellos no pueden reportar ningún nombre en sus reportes si ellos lo hacen, por eso lo estamos diciendo públicamente aquí si cualquier persona quiere tomar un acción legal vamos a tener evidencia que nosotros tratamos de prevenirlos y si ellos lo hacen a ellos los van a tener que llevar a la corte y no a nosotros.”


Of course, cane farmers reacted to the CEO’s instructions.


Cane Farmer


“Cuando alguien toma o agarra dinero si permiso que le podemos llamar sin autoridad y las medidas no se han tomado porque si tu agarras dinero que no tienes derecho de agarrar es un delito y debe de ser procesado según la ley.”


So far three employees have been terminated and the association has recuperated approximately six thousand dollars from the $78,000.


Alfredo Ortega- Vice Chairman, BSCFA, COM


“I think we have recovered in the vicinity of six thousand dollars so we need to recover about seventy two thousand dollars to complete the seventy eight thousand.”


Reporter


“We understand three of the employees have repaid their share of what was stolen and the other three have yet to do so?”


Alfredo Ortega- Vice Chairman, BSCFA, COM


“Yes we have three of them that have already repaid it was some smallest numbers that it come out within the audit report so three of them have cleared their names and the other have already committed on how they will be paying and it is only three persons that legal action will be taken upon them.”


The association has indicated that certain measures have been set in place for history not repeat itself.

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