According to local media reports, the daughter-in law of British-Belizean billionaire Michael Ashcroft was charged with manslaughter and negligence following the death of a Belize police officer from a gunshot wound on Friday.
Jasmine Hartin, a 32-year old Canadian citizen who is married with Andrew Ashcroft (the son of Michael Ashcroft) has been denied bail. She currently remains at the San Pedro Police Station in Belize’s tourist hotspot. Forbes did not reach out to Godfrey Smith, her lawyer.
Channel 7 News in Belize reported on Friday that Henry Jemmoth’s body was discovered on the Mata Rocks Beachfront Hotel’s pier. According to reports, the senior officer in police died after sustaining a gunshot to the head. Hartin was found by police at the scene covered in blood. Jemmoth’s service pistol is suspected to have caused the injury.
Chester Williams, the San Pedro commissioner for police, stated that they were “friends” and had been drinking together in an interview with Channel 7 News. According to Hartin’s statement to police, Hartin was on the pier in an emotional state and refused to cooperate with police until her lawyer was present.
Hartin is the “director lifestyle & experience” for a Belize luxury hotel group owned by Andrew, according to her LinkedIn page.
A spokesperson for Michael Ashcroft didn’t respond to Forbes requests for comment.
Ashcroft and Belize
The Ashcroft family has been a significant force in Belize’s business community in the years that have passed since 1981 when Belize gained independence from Britain.
Michael Ashcroft was a former deputy chair of the U.K. Conservative Party. He made his fortune by buying and selling many companies. The most famous being the $5.4 Billion merger of ADT, the home security company, with Tyco International in 1997. Forbesestimates Ashcroft’s net worth at $2.1 billion. Ashcroft is a U.K. citizen and has strong ties to Belize. Ashcroft, who has a primary residence in Turks and Caicos and homes in Belize and England, served as the ambassador of Belize to the United Nations between 1998 and 2000.
Ashcroft holds 93% of Waterloo Investment Holdings. This is a major provider in asset-backed loans to the Turks and Caicos. Ashcroft also holds 75% of Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited. This publicly traded company owns Belize Bank as well as other financial services companies in the small central American state bordering Guatemala and Mexico. Andrew Ashcroft is the husband of the accused. He is a property developer and has recently collaborated with the Marriott group in the development of eight luxury villas on the oceanfront in Belize. Prices range from $199,000 to $1.3 Million.