Nanes-Schnitzer assets frozen in Mexico
David Nanes Schnitzer, the man who had managed to slip his way into Belize’s system under a false name while attaining official documents ranging from social security card to driver’s license and Belizean nationality. As we heard from Minister Godwin Hulse yesterday, that nationality was revoked and immigration officials are now on the lookout for Nanes-Schnitzer. Just last week, after being remanded for about two weeks, he was released on a ten thousand dollar bail as he was not deemed a flight risk considering the investments, he and his wife reportedly have in Belize.
But yesterday Nanes-Schnitzer was to report to the police station as part of the conditions of his bail but he never showed up. While there is no aggressive hunt by the authorities for the man who is wanted by Mexican authorities for involvement in a Ponzi scheme, both police and immigration officials are on the alert. As it pertains to his assets here in Belize, we have been unable to ascertain whether those were freeze but according to a Mexican newspaper, once he was found to be involved in the scheme, his assets in Mexico were frozen.
Cola speaks on fugitive’s case
While the general public may not be overly concerned over the whereabouts of Nanes-Schnitizer or the crimes he is being accused of, the Coalition Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has made a re-appearance via a release being issued on the matter whilst comparing it to recent local incidents. The release begins by asking the question, “How does Belize’s justice system reconcile granting bail to a man accused of grave crimes, who is no longer a Belizean and never truly was, while two young mothers are sent to jail over the weekend for a relatively minor offence?” The release went on to question the systems in place for vetting a foreigner prior to being nationalized as well as the Attorney General, as it pertains to the standards for bail.
The document reads, quote, “We are left to ask this following the events involving David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer, a man of many names and even more money, who has apparently managed to comprehensively intrude into Belize, buying everyone in his path, in an attempt to distance himself from one of the largest fraud schemes in history. Meanwhile, these born Belizean young women and parents can’t even get the two top Magistrates to reconsider opening their case after indicating an intent to plead guilty to their crime, depriving them of an opportunity to return to their children. One crime is not better than another. We make no defense of the women, but neither do we condone David Schnitzer. Admission to bail is a right, not a privilege. After the facts of the case have been considered, the Magistrate or Judge is to act in the interest of the citizenry, but even more importantly, in the interest of the accused, who otherwise faces being held against his or her will. It has not escaped us that Schnitzer lost his Belizean nationality after it was found that he obtained it with false information, given to some of the same people who facilitated the Citizen Kim matter. And he got that fraudulent nationality three years ago, less than a year before Kim attempted to get his. The David Schnitzer matter deserves full and thorough investigation. We need to hear publicly from the Minister for Immigration and Nationality, the so-called “Lockdown Minister”, to find out why he couldn’t lock this one down. We need to hear from the new Attorney General, to say what standards are in place for bail grant and procedure. And also, from the Minister of National Security, about why Schnitzer was not properly vetted by his agencies before being allowed improperly to share a piece of the Jewel. COLA will not remain silent. Our mission is to remove every last fetter on the liberty of our people, and we will not falter, we will not fail. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!”
PUP raises concern over fugitive’s Belizean Documents
Also expressing concern over the recent David Nanes-Schnitzer issue was the opposition party, the PUP. They too issued a release earlier today that reads, quote, “The People’s United Party (PUP) records its deep dis-satisfaction with the handling of the case of international fugitive David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer aka “David Banes” by the Ministries of National Security and Immigration and expresses urgent concern with the apparent dereliction of duty by both those Ministries in this matter.
Although it was clear, two weeks ago that Nanes Schnitzer has obtained permanent residence, citizenship and a passport in Belize, and his Belizean citizenship was reportedly revoked and passport cancelled based on fraud on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, it is clear that no proper investigation on the matter was in fact done. The Gazette entry states that the Minister of Immigration made the order stating that, “whereas it appears to me that David M Banes, known as David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer…who was registered as a citizen of Belize as evidenced by certificate of registration dated 17th. November, 2012, was so registered by means of fraud, false representation and the concealment of material circumstance and by mistake.
The Statement of the Minister of Immigration in the Gazette is that “I do declare that the above mentioned David M. Banes shall hereby cease to be a citizen of Belize.” It is critical to note that Nanes Schnitzer was never charged by any authority in Belize with obtaining nationality by “fraud, false representation and the concealment of material circumstance”. This demands an immediate explanation from both the Ministry of Immigration and the Ministry of National Security, both of whom should have acted immediately to ensure that a criminal complaint was made on behalf of the state. Their failure to act is an inexplicable and severe dereliction of duty and gross negligence of our national security concerns.
Published media reports indicate that the names of “some of the same players” that were involved in the Won Hong Kim passport scandal, “also appear on the David Banes passport paper trail”. On that basis, the People’s United Party demands that the Prime Minister table with immediate effect, at the next sitting of the House of Representatives on December 4, 2015, the report of the Auditor General on the Immigration Scandal and the irregularities observed by her office in respect of the “Pennergate” investigation.