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July 20
09:24 2018

Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Tracy Taegar Panton, confirmed to the Reporter on Wednesday that she had been contacted by two businessmen from the Cayman Islands regarding a proposed investment for construction of an international airport on Ambergris Caye; however, neither has submitted formal proposals to the ministry.

Panton said she was aware that copies of the correspondences sent to her by the two businessmen were in circulation.

The first letter, dated April 3, 2018, was sent by Matthew Leslie, a businessman and former politician from Cayman. Leslie claimed his father Samuel Leslie was from Belize and said he was part of an investment group which included the former and longest tenured Premiere of the Cayman Islands, Dr. William Mckeeva Bush.

Leslie, in his letter, claimed they had already secured an investor willing to finance 100 percent of the project’s cost. He said the project was urgent and tried to arrange a meeting with Panton.

The second correspondence, dated June 26, 2018, was from Bush, who made it clear that Leslie, nor his father, were involved in any project along with him. Bush said he was consulting for Sinopharm and was introducing China Harbor, a Chinese engineering firm, to investment prospects in Belize.

Panton said to her knowledge, the men had visited the country together about a month ago to look at investment prospects, however, since then there seems to have been some falling out between the parties. Panton added that even though the letters were sent, there have been no official submissions of proposals sent to the Ministry by either Leslie or Bush. She said currently there was no other development in regards to the San Pedro airport.

Readers will recall that only weeks ago Belize’s Consul General in Quintana Roo, Luis Montero Maldonado gave an interview to a newspaper, Diario de Quintana Roo, in which he confirmed that the International Airport on Ambergris Caye had already been green-lighted and all that was left was for construction to begin.

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