So is there a visa quota system for ministers or isn't there? It is a perplexing question - because there are mixed messages coming from Cabinet. On Wednesday, the Minister of Immigration flatly denied any knowledge of any such system. Here are his remarks:..

Daniel Ortiz
"Can you tell us if there any such system?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse
"Absolutely none, I don't know where they got that information from. No minister is allowed to sell visas. Nobody in this country is allowed to sell visas. The process of getting a visa is applying to the Department. When you apply to the Department, there is a fee that you pay. The Chinese I think pays $2,000, Indians pay something else, and other nationals pay another price. You apply there and you get your visa."

Daniel Ortiz
"So you're saying categorically, that this system does not exist."

Hon. Godwin Hulse
"There is no system. There is no system where people come, apply, and have quotas. I don't know where that comes from."

But, yesterday, at the Immigration Press Conference, the Prime Minister was not so categorical - actually, he was far from it. He made it quite clear that there was a problem with elected officials "hustling" visas. And while he didn't go as far as saying that there was a Cabinet approved quota system, he made it clear that he vehemently disapproved of the visa hustle - which he said can bring down the government:...

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"But if there is one thing that can and would bring down this government it is hustling in Immigration. I have heard that ministers are procuring visas for people. I've said pretty much in every second Cabinet if you are doing so (I have no proof) for God sakes stop it! Stop it! That is what would cause the government to fall."

"I have also said that I understand that politicians have friends and I know that processes can be slow. If a minister says 'I did ask the Immigration Department to bring some speed to the processing of an application for a visa for a friend.' It is entirely legitimate as minister.' I satisfied myself that the application for the visa was in order.' I can't say that that is not to happen, but if I hear you intervene 10 times and I hear you intervene 20 times - what I am to think? Except that you're involve in a hustle. If you hang out with Alibaba you must be one of the 40 thieves."

"it is nice for them to know that the media is in possession of those sorts of reports and so they will now if they have not believe me when I have been saying it to them previously, understand that it is the absolute truth that that is the kind of thing that would cause the government to fall."

Barrow also presented the first coherent outline of how Citizen Kim's passport came to light. Apparently, in mid-September, Kim, who had been in Taiwan jail since July 09th sought to use his freshly delivered Belizean passport to invoke his rights as a Belizean Citizen - to avoid extradition to South Korea. PM Barrow explained:

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"There was an inquiry from the embassy as to the validity of the passport and this came about because as I understand it, somebody ask our embassy to intervene on behalf of Citizen Kim as a Belizean who was in jail in Taiwan. Your embassies are supposed to look after their citizens and be helpful in those circumstances."

"I am not sure who presented to the embassy in Taiwan the copy of the passport in order to back up the claim that this is a Belizean who then merits the intervention of the embassy. My communication from Foreign Affairs suggests that when our embassy then contacted the Taiwanese authorities to make inquiries about the holder of the passport, the embassy leant that the holder was in deed in jail but had been there from July but the passport that was presented to the embassy to support the claim that the person was a citizen of Belize was issued in September and so right away that set off the alarm bells at the embassy."

"He [Hulse] and his director started doing their investigation and base on what he found he came to my house that evening to make a report and thereby hangs the tail. We acted thereafter and I called in Penner and did what I had to do."

PM Barrow also did what he later knew he shouldn't have done when, in May of 2013, under legal advice, he authorized Elvin Penner to sign nationality documents. But did he have the authority to do so? The law confers that right unto the substantive minister - but the Prime Minister says that right was also rightly extended to Penner:..

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"My goodness, the man was a Minister of State. The legal advisor should have confirmed that as a Minister of State, it is perfectly permissible to give him authority with respect to the signature of nationality certificates doesn't strike me as in any way dramatic. I will insist to you that in the normal course of government that kind of delegation of responsibility to an elected official who is appointed a Minister of State has to - on the face of it be perfectly okay."

"The fact is that that authority was grievously and egregiously abused and for that we are deeply sorry and we continue to apologize. It is a decision that I have come to rue. It is a decision that I will regret until the end of my days, but that is how that took place."

Channel 7