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#517130 - 08/27/16 05:40 AM Explosive Immigration audit leaked  
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Marty Offline
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A damning special audit leaked to the media earlier this week, detailing multiple cases of fraud in the issuance of Belizean visas, nationality and passports—including the high profile case of Korean national Won Hong Kim—is due to be tabled in the National Assembly tomorrow, when the House of Representatives meets in Belmopan and the audits should become public documents.

The audit, published by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, helps explain how Belize has in recent years seemingly become a hideaway for hoodlums, as persons alleged to be human traffickers and money launderers were listed among those fraudulently assisted with Belize Immigration documents.

Bradley now calls for a police investigation into missing files (164 of which could not be found in October 2013 for nationals of Guatemala, Honduras, China, Britain, Nigeria, Lebanon and Taiwan), allegations of fraud, and possible police collusion in her set of recommendations.

However, she also points to the need for an international police investigation in an attempt to identify fraud agents who may have been using locations such as the UK, Singapore, China and Taiwan to operate the Immigration scheme.

Pending the outcome of the investigations, Bradley is calling on the Director of Immigration and Nationality to ensure that Belizean nationality is revoked for all persons cited in the audit, and a recall and cancelation of all such issued passports.

Bradley’s report documented that several ministers and area representatives intervened for persons seeking to become new Belizeans, when there is no provision for them in the Nationality Act for them to do so. Among those named are Edmund Castro, Erwin Contreras, Manuel Heredia, Jr., Rene Montero, Santiago Castillo, Ramon Witz, Carlos Perdomo, Eden Martinez, Gaspar Vega, John Saldivar, Pablo Marin, Gabriel Martinez, Michael Hutchinson, and Elvin Penner.

When the matter of ministerial intervention was raised in connection with the visa scandal in October 2013, Prime Minister Dean Barrow had said that while it is legitimate for a minister to assist a friend, “…if I hear you intervene 10 times and I hear you intervene 20 times – what I am to think? Except that you’re involved in a hustle. If you hang out with Alibaba you must be one of the 40 thieves…”

Penner was personally involved in facilitating the application for Kim, who got a Belizean passport without the requisite documentation being submitted, purportedly because he promised he would deliver those documents, but never did.

Even worse, Kim was in Taiwan custody at Yilan Detention Center from 1 August to 26 September 2013, so he was not in Belize on 2 September when he supposedly applied for his Belizean nationality and when the nationality certificate was backdated, the audit revealed.

Kim “had strings” with higher-ups in Government, as the reports indicated that he was being facilitated by Belizean officials, including Eric Chang, former councilor at the Belize City Council. The number on the nationality certificate issued to him in 2013 was issued the year before to a Guatemalan, Josue David Coc Uk, who had paid $750 to receive it in October 2012, the audit said.

“Two of those persons, Won Hong Kim and Yakup Sut, never came to Belize to process those applications, while the other three persons, Yiu Pang Chen (Peter Chen), Jackie Jie Qin (Marc Ching) and Quoc Winh Truong, entered Belize as visitors through the PGIA and soon after fraudulently obtained their nationality, which was issued under Section 10 of the Belizean Nationality Act, and subsequently were issued their Belizean passports.

“This Nationality report will reveal more of such cases. We did not receive the nationality files for most of the fraudulent cases we found…” the audit said.

The reports furthermore indicate that “in most cases examined, the processes and procedures were circumvented, displaying blatant disregard, at every level, for a well-established institutional framework…;” and “the system was manipulated to facilitate apparent fraud in so many ways…”

It revealed that some applicants got visas as well as nationality certificates and passports, and “such was the case with Wong Hong Kim, Yakup Sut and other names,” and it later detailed a sample from 100 names found for the period under audit, 2011 to 2013.

The result of the investigation was a three-volume audit report for visas, nationality and passports, which was published by the Office of the Auditor General. This article focuses on the issuance of Belizean nationality and the consequential issuance of suspect passports which were scrutinized in a comprehensive probe by the Audit Department after Bradley got wind of information documented in an internal Immigration memo, which raised suspicions about the issuance of visas to enter Belize.

According to Bradley, it was after the visa investigation was launched that a passport scandal broke. That scandal was evidently over the issuance of a Belizean passport to Kim, for which then Minister of State responsible for Immigration, Elvin Penner, was swiftly sacked from Cabinet.

The substantive Minister, Hon. Godwin Hulse, had unveiled details to the Barrow administration of his findings, for which Penner was never held criminally liable.

The Penner scandal merely scratched the surface of what has now been revealed to be a corrupt network which authorities now suspect had penetrated several government agencies, key among them being the Police, the Vital Statistics Unit and the Immigration Department—critical, since birth paper documents and police records are supporting documents used to acquire Immigration documentation.

What was even more shocking was the finding by the Office of the Auditor General that despite the discontinuation of the Belize Economic Citizenship Program more than a decade earlier (in 2002), persons were still being issued passports through fraudulent backdating.

Amandala readers will recall that back in October 2013, we reported on what had been deemed as an “online scam,” purporting to offer Belize passports under the economic citizenship program for as low as US$9,900. The website for IPC Belize, which the Auditor General cited in her report, has since dropped the price to US$8,900.

The audit notes that Oleg Kalugin, whose place of birth is identified as Russia, was fraudulently issued a Belize Economic Investment Citizenship Nationality Certificate #22/01/98 and Passport P0209568. He supposedly came to Belize on 16 July 2012 on a tourist visa, and the very day after his arrival, was issued a Belizean passport based on a certificate dated 1998 and a passport recommendation from a person identified as Justice of the Peace Demencio Cal.

The suggestion, said the audit report, is that “”all documents including his nationality certificate had been prepared for him prior to his visit and that persons at the Immigration Department may have facilitated his arrival to Belize and accepted fraudulent documents at the Passport section…”

Of note is that the website offering instant Belizean citizenship purports that they have “direct local contacts…” which can facilitate the issuance of a Belize passport in as little as 6 months, although under Belizean law, a passport to a naturalized Belizean is issued after a residency period of 5 years, and some used hotels in Belize as their addresses.

In 2013, when we reported on the claim by the website that they could expedite the acquisition of Belizean citizenship, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse told us that any scheme like that would be illegal. He indicated to us that he and the Director of Immigration would look into the matter, and we were later advised the matter had been turned over to the international intelligence agency – Interpol.

The audits also demonstrate persistent irregularities, such as the absence of proper vetting for persons claiming to be Canadian and US nationals, who can freely come to Belize without a visa. It said that, there were “no indications that consistent verifications were done to authenticate documents presented.”

The issuance of a Belizean birth certificate to the man who assumed the fake identity of William Mason, the local alias of a man who had previously been known in Canada and elsewhere as Rajesh Ouelett, led to four officers of the Vital Statistics Unit, who are reportedly facing criminal and administrative proceedings. There may be many more similar cases.

Notably, there were cases unearthed in the audit in which name changes were facilitated by the Vital Statistics Unit for persons who were seeking to acquire Belizean nationality and passports.

The report points to “…deliberate changing of the names of persons, complete names in some instances, facilitated by the Belize Vital Statistics Unit…” for some persons named in the audit, before applications were made for Belize passports.

Right after the Penner scandal broke, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said at a press conference that he had heard reports that a number of Cabinet Ministers are involved in corruption, including the selling of visas to foreign nationals, mainly from Asian and Middle Eastern countries. He said that he had spoken to them repeatedly about the allegations, and although he had no proof, he told them: “if you are doing it, for God’s sake, stop it! Stop it!!”

13 of Barrow’s former and current Ministers named in immigration scandal!

John Saldivar of Belmopan, Erwin Contreras of Cayo West, Gaspar Vega of Orange Walk North and Rene Montero of Cayo Central are among a list of high-ranking UDP Cabinet ministers who allegedly had intervened in the nationality process without any provision to do so in the Nationality Act between 2011 and 2013, according to an explosive audit published by the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley.

Manuel Heredia of Belize Rural South and Pablo Marin of Corozal Bay round out the list of current UDP ministers named for intervening in the nationality process during the period audited. Former UDP ministers like Eden Martinez of Toledo East, Elvin Penner of Cayo Northeast and Ramon Witz of Cayo South were also pinpointed by the audit.

Retired UDP ministers Santiago Castillo and Carlos Perdomo of Caribbean Shores along with Gabriel Martinez were also listed by the Auditor General.

However, at this time, the report has not specifically revealed how each of these former and current UDP ministers intervened in the nationality process.

According to the audit, “Ministers Carlos Perdomo and Elvin Penner were among those Ministers who had requested that nationality files be processed while they were the Ministers of Immigration and this fact alone is capable of causing intimidation and pressure on the staff of the Nationality Section to process files for persons who did not qualify for Belizean nationality as we found in several cases.”

The audit further claims that several of these Ministers, “may not have known the persons they were recommending for Belizean nationality.”

For example, the audit cites an undated letter from Minister Edmond Castro retrieved from a nationality file for Olena Moskalyk Curly and Mykola Moskalyk which stated, “I hereby recommend for the file of Oteha Mockajtwik (BNA 28077/12) to be send to the Director of immigration desk to be expedited. Thank you for your assistants [sic].”

The audit affirms that Castro did not know Olena Moskalyk because the letter he personally signed had her name spelt “Oteha Mockajtwik”. Her nationality application was opened in the name “Oteha”, which, according to the audit, suggests that, “no official document from the applicant was submitted before the processing of her file began…”

Nevertheless, she received a Belizean nationality certificate dated February 9, 2012, in the name of Olena Moskalyk three days after she had entered Belize, and by February 24, 2012, she was issued a Belizean passport.

In another instance, this time involving former Minister Santiago Castillo, Jr., he requested the processing of three nationality files for Chinese nationals who, according to the audit, he referred to as “supporters and constituents” even before they were given Belizean nationality.

According to the audit, Castillo kept referring to two of the three applicants as “she” and “her” when they were two male applicants.

The issue of private swearing-in ceremonies for persons with approved Belizean nationality was also brought into question by the Auditor General after a letter dated January 9, 2012, was discovered in the nationality file of Wael Harmouch, apparently from the desk of Cayo Central representative Rene Montero, addressed to then Immigration Director Ruth Meighan.

In the letter, Montero asked Meighan to facilitate him with a series of applications, “for the ceremonies to be held on the 13th January 2012.”

According to the audit, it was not clear if Montero was referring to a general swearing-in ceremony, or if he was making reference to a private swearing-in ceremony. The auditors stated in the audit that they were told, “that private swearing-in ceremonies were a common, irregular practice carried out at the department.”

In an interview with former Minister of Immigration Carlos Perdomo on December 8 2014, regarding his alleged intervention into the processing of a nationality application for Paul Ku, his response was, “…I do not think I directed anything in regards to passports. I would send a note to Ruth Meighan asking for her to kindly assist in regard to people who came to the Ministry for help with their BNA (Belize Nationality Application) file numbers because their applications had been unapproved for a long time.”

Several Chinese and Lebanese persons were assisted by prominent current and former UDP Ministers in their bid for nationality and passport documents.


Junior Heredia's Name Appears Many Times In Report

And one of those Ministers who boldly said he has nothing to answer for is Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. Yesterday, when we asked him about the Auditor General’s reports he boldly claimed that he won’t be named as one of those Ministers who wrongfully intervened to try get passports, nationality certificates, or visas. He said that if indeed auditors did name him, it was only for one of his constituents, but it won’t be for any sort of mass hustling.

PM Says No Sure Signs Of Corruption in Auditor General Report

So as you heard, there is no question that Prime Minister Barrow will maintain his position on the Section 53 judgment, but does the Prime Minister uphold or support the shady dealings of his ministers - reflected in the Auditor General’s Reports ? Now, PM Barrow admits that the information in these reports is very troubling but not so much so that he would resort to a Cabinet purge at this point. Barrow says he needs more than just a report hinting at acts of fraud and corruption; he needs concrete evidence.

Channel 7

#517203 - 08/30/16 02:08 PM Re: Explosive Immigration audit leaked [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,656
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

The Government of Belize has published the Special Audit on the Immigration and Nationality Department on their website.

Dickie Bradley on Immigration Audit Report, on Open Your Eyes...

#517290 - 09/02/16 05:19 AM Re: Explosive Immigration audit leaked [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,656
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

P.M. Apologizes to Belizeans Over Special Audit Reports

The Special Audit on Immigration has exposed rampant corruption within the Department of Immigration. Thirteen ministers, past and present, as well as senior officers and politically connected persons have been fingered in the investigation that covered a two year period, 2011-2013. Today, the Prime Minister in one of his lengthiest press conferences discussed one of the most incriminatory reports against his administration.  The special audit on visas, nationalities and passports was conducted by a team led by the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley. The Prime Minister first offered an apology for the irregularities.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“On any reckoning, That report paints a sorry picture—a picture which has legitimately very much alarmed Belizeans. This is a matter of the greatest possible regret to me and as leader of the government it is my duty to apologize to the nation for the fact that things went so wrong during the period covered by the report. The thing is we had been down this road before under the P.U.P. when for example another auditor general’s report had documented illegalities that involved expressed ministerial directives to waive requirements and which had resulted in the loss of seven point five million dollars. But that history was all the more reason why it ought not to have happened again.”

Barrow Nonetheless Claims Report is “Extremely Flawed”

The audit was triggered by the scandalous Won Hong Kim fiasco involving then Minister of State Elvin Penner and has unearthed the rampant sale of Belizean nationality to persons who had not even been to Belize and in other cases who got their nationality having arrived in Belize for a day. Now, having apologized and accepted that there was wrongdoing, the PM then ripped into the report calling it flawed and saying those named did not get a chance to make their case before the release of the audit.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We are also obliged to point out that in a number of very significant ways, that report is extremely flawed. It has made some giant unjustified leaps in coming to certain conclusions. It never gave the department the opportunity to respond to and clear up even those allegations which had perfectly legitimate explanations. And it sure as hell did not follow the rules of natural justice in naming people of wrongdoing without never giving them a chance to answer or even comment on the accusations. This last is important because the natural and legitimate expectation is that the report ought to be followed by disciplinary or perhaps even criminal action against individuals. But now that expectation will now have to contend with the certainty that wrongdoers will immediately move for court orders to quash proceeding against them on the basis of violation of their rights.”

Joint Special Committee Of National Assembly to Investigate Report

At the Senate Meeting on Wednesday, the People’s United Party proposed a motion for a senate select investigation into the immigration irregularities. This is the second time that that motion has been put to the floor and the second time that it has been defeated. Prematurely, as it turns out, lead senate for government, Godwin Hulse presented a motion for a joint select committee to investigate. Prime Minister says he got the nod from the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The Chamber Executive yesterday also supported government’s proposal that the public hearings to be held on the immigration special report be carried out by a joint select committee of the national assembly as opposed to just a senate select committee. The feeling is that the composition of that special purpose joint select committee should reflect the balance of representative we have agreed for the reconfigured public accounts committee. And of course we are united in our feeling that the hearings will be held in public and will be televised and broadcast live.”

Channel 5

#517422 - 09/09/16 05:07 AM Re: Explosive Immigration audit leaked [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,656
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Hon. Heredia Rejects Auditor General’s Findings

Turning now to the Auditor General's report – that's still a hot button issue – and Tourism Minister Manuel Juniour Herredia is in the hot seat tonight.  Two weeks ago he breezily volunteered to us that he won't lose any sleep over what's in the Auditor General's reports because there's nothing in there to implicate him in wrongdoing.   Well since then a whole lot has surfaced, especially in the nationality report, where the man called Junior almost got a whole chapter dedicated to him – and if that chapter had a name, it would be "A Whole Lotta Harmouche's".  That's because the Rural South Area Rep seems to have enjoyed a special relationship with this particular Lebanese family in San Pedro.  The Auditor General concludes, quote, "We observed that there appeared to be a special connection between the Honorary Consul of Belize in Lebanon, Khodr H. Harmouch and Hon. Manuel Heredia in order to have…three members of the Harmouch/ Harmouche family acquire Belizean nationality."  It also notes that in one case, quote, "Minister Heredia requested File for processing a year before applicant had qualified for Nationality based on his file."

Jules Vasquez
"We have now seen deeper into the report where you have multiple recommendations and a very irregular one to Mr. Ammar Harmouch with the back dated nationality so that he could get his passport. What say you now?"

Hon. Maniel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism
"Well Jules first of all let me say I must apologise for not listening carefully to the question. I thought you were referring to the visas and the visas indeed they can look over there one, no more than two but I said I apologise because I didn't listen carefully to the questions. Because when it comes to nationalities our jobs as representatives is to recommend our people to make sure that we take care of our people. It is not to say that this minister or I don't know about the other colleague but I did not have anything over there to say grant this person his nationality regardless of what; I just recommended. There are two persons that recommend in every nationality, in this case it was myself, I don't know if the mentioned the other person but they are two recommenders. If they didn't mention the other person then something is wrong. But again there is nothing illegal in what I did in recommending everybody, I do that on a day to day person with different type of things; a job, with visas to the US embassy sometimes, it's just the character of the person that I am recommending."

Jules Vasquez
"Mr. Ammar Harmouch this was a very irregular process because he got his nationality post-dated so that he could legitimise his passport which had already been issued. Do you remember this person? Do you know Ammar Harmouche?"

Hon. Maniel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism
"I practically know all the Harmouch it's a family of about 100 that live on the island."

Jules Vasquez
"I hear you visit them regularly."

Hon. Maniel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism
"Not so because I don't have time to be visiting and they are no special friends with me Jules, I can guarantee you that. Special friends have approached me but I'm very careful with whom I associate myself. I will try to help every single person in this country regardless of party, religion or creed and in particularly for this. If there is anything what ever happened with Mr. Ammar Harmouch then that is not my fault. I am not the one that scrutinises these applications, I am only recommending. If something is wrong and many times it has happened; ministers look at the application that was submitted by this person that you recommended. Lacks this, he hasn't made his interview then they will call this person to do what is left but there is nothing that you or anybody can say or pin point in that report that says Minister Heredia instructed or directed anyone to do otherwise."

"My personal belief,  I think that audit report is totally out of order. One Jules if there was something wrong or illegal that I did the job of the Auditor General was to call up on me and say Minister what do you have to say about this irregularity that are there? And I would have willingly testify and tell her what is it that happened; I was only a recommender. I personally believe that I will clear my name; I am looking with my legal person to make sure that what I can do to clear my name because you know it, this whole country know it that Manuel Heredia Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation has been an honest person, has nothing to hide. What I have done during my career is to help people; it's about helping and making sure that our people have a better way of living in this country."

Jules Vasquez
"But sir apparently the Auditor General doesn't know it. She writes that Minister Heredia received 52 visa stickers bearing serial numbers, those are listed dated 7 September 2012. These visas were for the OIC of immigration San Pedro, no authorisation come from Minister Heredia to have signed and receive those 52 visas on behalf of the officer in charge San Pedro."

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism
"Again she is way out, totally out of order on that."

Jules Vasquez
"Did you receive those?"

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism
"Jules this is what I do I regularly do services for my constituency. Not from now but from the opposition days they have given me packages from the office of the immigration in Belmopan to deliver to the San Pedro immigration office, to the police or whatever. Likewise from San Pedro they have given me sealed packages to deliver; I will never go about looking for what is inside that package. It is a job for making sure that the services and the efficiency of the constituency is served and that is exactly what... I cannot tell you if they were visas, if they were immigration applications, if they were passports or so. I will never interfere in trying to open anything that has been given to me to be delivered to a certain person or a certain department."

Jules Vasquez
"So then you say you only conveyed these visas? Because the Auditor General's report says it like you have the visas that the OIC mi fi get but you got it."

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism
"That again I will see what my attorney has to say. If that is what she is saying, I can guarantee that was not so. All that I do and all I have ever done is to deliver sealed packages from Belmopan or from Belize City to the offices in San Pedro."

Today we asked Herredia about his involvement in those irregularities. First off, he explained that his casual dismissal of the reports two weeks ago was the result of a misunderstanding:…

Channel 7

#517428 - 09/09/16 05:54 AM Re: Explosive Immigration audit leaked [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2003
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Katie Valk Offline
Katie Valk  Offline

Belize based travel specialist
#517535 - 09/15/16 05:00 AM Re: Explosive Immigration audit leaked [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,656
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Former Immigration Director Vexed With Audit Assertions

Maria Marin was Acting Director of Immigration from early 2013 until mid-2016.  That was a time of sweeping change in procedures at the Department – and it's also when the Auditor General's team was in there.  When they left, they had no kind words for Marin, accusing her putting up resistance to the audit team, basically denying them the access needed.  That single accusation is what drove Marin to our studio today to make it clear that she never denied anything to the audit team.  We also used the opportunity to ask her to defend her reputation against the many alleged cases of irregularities at the Department while she was in charge.  Here's her interview with Jules Vasquez:…

Jules Vasquez
"In the nationality report in particular your name is in there 72 times. Just about maybe minus 4 so your name is in there 72 times involved in various irregular immigration procedures. Were you ever asked to answer well yes I can explain that or alright no comment."

Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director
"At no time."

Jules Vasquez
"You were never interviewed about these various…your name is mentioned 72 times in the nationality."

Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director
"Absolutely not; the officers visited me on the 15th of November 2013 when they came to advise that the department would come in to carry out the audit exercise. When I saw the officers it was at the end of the exercise when they came to advise that okay we are through, we are finished; we are now going to prepare the actual report."

Jules Vasquez
"Were you involved in immigration irregularities at the department?"

Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director
"At no time; I can tell you Mr. Vasquez I spent countless days and hours, weekends including late into the night ensuring that each file or application that was brought to me met the requirements and followed the procedures. But really what I want to clarify today and to set straight today is the fact that at no time did I not cooperate or did I refuse to cooperate or obstruct in anyway the provision of the access of information that they might have requested."

Jules Vasquez
"In one case it says that the name printed on replacement certificate was Ralph Fonseca but was replaced on 8th May 2013 by Maria Marin."

Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director
"You know Mr. Vasquez I support, I encourage, I look forward to an inquiry because those details are going to be addressed in that inquiry. I can't wait for that to happen, in fact I pray that it happens at the earliest possible because those details will be addressed or can be addressed."

Jules Vasquez
"What was your reaction when you saw these in the national report as I said over 65 times your name appears. What was your reaction when you saw that?"

Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director
"To be honest with you Jules I felt that was a disservice to the nation because in my mind these are issues of national interest and I believe that an audit should be a proper exercise, it should be an objective and comprehensive and every step of an audit process at least as I know it should have followed. Management was at no time provided with a copy of the preliminary report. Management was at no time invited to give an explanation or to clarify or to verify information that the auditor officer might have obtained from somebody else to ensure what went into that final report was a proper indication or what was happening at the department; at least during my tenure as the acting director."

Jules Vasquez
"You say in extremely clear language you are not involved in the irregularities. Are you willing to concede though that a great deal or irregularities happened in that department while you were acting director?"

Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director
"At no time, I can answer your question with a straight face Mr. Vasquez. At no time did I engage in any irregularity; in fact it was because of my modus operandi of resolutely adhering to proper protocols and procedures that I think of what happened, happened through another door, a back door."

Jules Vasquez
"Do you feel like your name has been taken through the mud unfairly Ms. Marin?"

Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director
"Definitely, definitely; I always stood for high ethical standards, always. Mr. Vasquez I've been working since the age of 16 and I can tell you I have never been accused or dragged in front of a court."

Jules Vasquez
"But if you're working in a corrupt environment that it taint of corruption may stain your name. You were the head of a department that by all outward indications was corrupt."

Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director
"And that was the reason why I ensured that we cooperated because in my mind this audit exercise would allow for the reform that was so desperately needed at the department."

Channel 7

#518507 - 10/25/16 05:13 AM Re: Explosive Immigration audit leaked [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,656
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Hon. Heredia Says He’s Ready For Senate Inquiry

He may have backed down when the residents of San Pedro braced him at a consultation last week, but Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia isn't backing down when it comes to the Audit of the Immigration Department. His name appears almost 30 times in the Nationality Audit - but he says he will face any Senate probe confidently because he did nothing wrong:

Jules Vasquez, 7News
"There is going to be a senate special select committee, your name is in the reports a number of times, the favors you've done for the Hamze family, are you concerned?"

Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism
"I have walked a straight line I will continue to walk a straight line. Those reports that are there is nothing, and I am willing to stand before any senate committee and give testimony of what they want and I told you also that I am seeking legal advice and if need be, I will also make sure it goes to court for clarification. Because there is nothing bigger than the name of a person. Whatever I have to do to clarify my name I will do Jules."

We note that Jules said Hamze, the proper name is Harmouche.

Channel 7

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