Belize's Immigration Department is investigating allegations of extortion and sexual abuse by at least two of its border officers.

The misconduct is said to have taken place on November 16th, when two women travelling together attempted to enter the country at the Benque Viejo border crossing. Honduran National Xenia Paz Bardalez, and Mexican National Yolanda Pineda say they were locked up for three hours and extorted to the tune of 10,000 pesos and sexually assaulted by immigration officers.

The women were denied entry into the country, after they were told that at least one of them did not have proper travel documents and both had lied during an interview with immigration officers. The incident has left the two women traumatized and their story has hit the international media.

Today, relatives of the women - who are in country to follow up on their complaints - stopped by our studios to relate their ordeal.

Jim McFadzean
"What type of documents did they present to the Belize Immigration officers?"

Alejandro Monjaraz - Friend Extorted by Belize Immigration
"The Honduran, she was travelling with her passport and visa. She was legally allowed to enter Mexico. The Mexican, unfortunately, she lost her passport, but it was stolen in Honduras. And she was travelling with her Mexican ID, which doesn't cover her entrance, but she was to allowed to receive a temporal pass. And the immigration officers just wouldn't take that as a legal document to enter the country; that's was the problem."

Jim McFadzean
"And that's when they were both asked for the 10,000 pesos. At what point were they asked for the 10,000 pesos?"

Dr. Carlos Barrachina Lison
"They were inside of the jail. This man called Walter asked them for 10,000 pesos in order for them to get released, and to return their legal documents. He said that the officers were changing shifts."

Jim McFadzean
"Why were the women put in jail? At what point were they put in jail?"

Dr. Carlos Barrachina Lison - Relative Extorted by Belize Immigration
"This is one of the things that I asked during the afternoon to the officer in charge because I don't really understand. She told me that my wife lied to the officers when they asked her if they were travelling together. Because they are not relatives, they said no. They said that the women were lying to them, and so they needed to go to jail; I don't understand why. Actually, they were not lying because they are not relatives."

Alejandro Monjaraz
"When they were incarcerated, someone came up to them when they were in jail, and asked them for 10,000 pesos in order to release them. That was the only deal that they were making; they were not allowed to enter the country. They were just allowed to leave jail."

Jim McFadzean
"So, the 10,000 pesos was for them to get out of jail, not necessarily to enter Belize."

Alejandro Monjaraz
"Exactly, they were just paying for bail."

Jim McFadzean
"They were approached again by the same officer that had already got 10,000 pesos, from them."

Dr. Carlos Barrachina Lison
"Yes, and he asked them for 1,000 Belizean dollars, each, in order to stamp the passport and to give a temporal permit. They said no, because I spoke with them, and I told them not to pay anything. This man, called Walter, asked another time for the same money to allow them to go through Belize legally."

Jim McFadzean
"And this is the same Walter that had already gotten 10,000 pesos."

Dr. Carlos Barrachina Lison
"That's right, definitely"

Jim McFadzean
"At what point were sexual advances made?"

Alejandro Monjaraz
"After the documents were taken, they were interviewed individually by another officer, his name is supposed to be Edgar Cano. We're not sure if that's his real name or not. He was one of the officers there waiting. He spoke to each of the women by themselves, and it was in that lapse between them handing over their documents and before they were incarcerated that one of them received innuendos."

Jim McFadzean
"So did he actually touch the woman?"

Alejandro Monjaraz
"He touched one of her legs, yes."

Jim McFadzean
"How did the women identify Mr. Cano, for example?"

Alejandro Monjaraz
"Well, there were people outside on the Guatemalan who knew these people. They knew the immigration officers, and they assumed that it was these officers, Edgar Cano, and Walter. They didn't know these names; they were told these names by someone else who was on the Guatemalan side."

Jim McFadzean
"Are the women prepared to pursue legal action against the immigration officers?"

Dr. Carlos Barrachina Lison
"We already signed a letter to the immigration officers to several authorities in Belize, and this is already delivered. They were very affected; they barely speak during all this time. They were really affected. I think the important thing is that we have to build a more secure border. In both borders, In the Mexican Border, the Belizeans have to have respect of the Mexican officers, and here in the Belize/Guatemalan Border, Central Americans and Mexicans have to have the respect also because we are all human beings."

We tried reaching the Director of Immigration, Ruth Meighan, this afternoon by telephone, but neither her nor her Deputy Maria Marin were available for comment. But we did reach the CEO of Immigration and Defense, Allen Whylie who told us that there is an ongoing internal investigation that's being headed by the Deputy Director of Immigration.

Channel 7