On October twenty-third, in the midst of an investigation into massive corruption in the Immigration Department, a confidential informant came forward. She provided a firsthand account of meetings in which she paid Minister of State Edmund Castro money to facilitate and expedite visas for Chinese nationals. She detailed the entire process – from delivering the documents and money to Castro…to getting the approvals for the visas…to visiting the Immigration Department to pick up the passports with visas attached. Her testimony was detailed and compelling, and involved a period of six months in which the minister of state was allegedly being paid to expedite the issuance of visas. When that story broke, the government went into denial mode. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is out of the country, but before he left, he stated that he and Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse found no evidence to indict Castro. Castro has continually dodged the media, but issued a release denying the allegations. But now it has all gotten very much bigger, very fast. The informant has come out, and appeared on the Dickie Bradley Special on Monday night. There is no good news for Castro, as she confirmed that she was interrogated at length by the U.S. about the visa hustle involving Castro. And she says her interrogators had recordings of conversations with Minister of State Edmund Castro.

Alverine Burgess, Whistleblower

“They called me to go to the embassy in Belmopan. It was a Friday and I’ll never forget that day. That was a torment to my soul. They investigated for three hours. I literally left in tears.”

Dickie Bradley

“One person or more than one interrogated you?”

Alverine Burgess

“More than one…three people…”

Dickie Bradley

Alverine Burgess

“If you can…tell us what happened. They questioned you?”

Alverine Burgess

“They asked me questions about visas and passports. They showed me booklets with pictures…if I could identify some of these people.”

Dickie Bradley

“People who would get visas or passports?”

Alverine Burgess

“I don’t know if these people were in a visa ring or whatever…but…”

Dickie Bradley

“But I mean the questions were if you did visas for any of these people or if you know that they got visas?”

Alverine Burgess

“If I did visas for them or if I know them….and I told them no! And after being asked numerous questions and denying knowing some answers, one of the investigators mentioned – “so are you really denying?” I said yes. He said – “Suppose we have proof?” I said you can’t have any proof because there’s no proof. He said okay, we’ll give you proof. And that’s when he pulled out a computer and put it in front of him and when he put on that computer…big conversation. There was a conversation with me and Minister Castro and another person. My voice, Minister Castro’s voice…I was very, very scared.”

Dickie Bradley

“You heard what is a recording of you and the Minister talking business about visas?”

Alverine Burgess

“Yes.”

Dickie Bradley

“You heard a conversation taped between you and one of the persons you did visas with?”

Alverine Burgess

“Yes.”

Dickie Bradley

“You were confronted with that?”

Alverine Burgess

“Yes.”

Channel 5