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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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...Until further notice...

Following the alleged Hezbollah member, Rafic Labboun's swift receipt of a Belizean passport in the name of Wilhelm Dyck, an investigation into procedures and loopholes at the Immigration Department is taking place. Late this evening, the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality sent out a press release confirming that the Passport Office at the Charles Hyde building will be temporarily closed starting Wednesday, October third for the acceptance and issuance of passports. The other offices throughout the country will remain open for people who need to apply for passports. The ministry says the closure will be to improve the processing and service delivery at that particular branch.

Channel 5

PASSPORT OFFICE TEMPORARILY CLOSES: The Ministry of Immigration & Nationality today announced the TEMPORARY closure of the Belize City passport office for the acceptance of applications and issuance of passports. Effective Wednesday, October 3rd., persons wishing to apply for a passport will have go to Belmopan or any of the other district officers to tender the necessary documents to obtain a Belize passport. The Ministry apologizes for the inconveniences this necessary TEMPORARY closure may cause.


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Marty Offline OP
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Two weeks after the announced closure of the passport office in Belize City, today the Ministry of Immigration and Nationalist announced that the facility is back in business. A brief statement making the announcement says that the reopening of the passport office is for the acceptance of application services only. Furthermore, it says, persons who wish to apply for an emergency passport can do so at the Belmopan office.

The Guardian

Joined: Oct 1999
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Passport Office in Belize City remained closed

A number of concerns have been raised by Belize City residents since the processing of passport applications was transferred to Belmopan a few weeks ago. The move by the Immigration and Nationality Department comes in the aftermath of a recent passport scandal involving suspected members of the Islamic militant group, Hezbollah. In an attempt to meticulously supervise the process, production of passports has been relocated to the capital city. Among the concerns raised is the duration of the process. It has been disclosed that the processing in the City office had been compromised by someone working there who was facilitating irregular applications. There are no details at this time of how deep and extensive the irregularities have been. But News Five understands that an extension from twelve days to approximately three weeks has been implemented for standard passport processing and that emergency cases can also only be dealt with Belmopan. Expediting the process, in the event of an emergency, can only be done in Belmopan. Meanwhile, Senior Immigration Officer Gilroy Guzman, we are told, remains on probation pending a decision whether or not he will be transferred to another government department or terminated from his post. The passport scandal involving Justin George Abdalah Elders and Yasser Safa, Belizeans of Lebanese descent, believed to be linked to Hezbollah, was unraveled in September, following reports from U.S. intelligence that both men were being pursued as part of a group of terrorists. It was subsequently confirmed that Guzman, in his capacity as acting supervisor, approved the issuance of a Belizean passport to Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun, another suspected terrorist, who was nabbed in Merida during a police raid. Allaboun obtained an official travel document from the Immigration Department without valid proof of a Belizean social security card or voter's identification.

Channel 5

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