Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017. 2:20 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Prime Minister Dean Barrow, this week, said that the incidents of immigration fraud revealed in the Auditor General’s Special Audit report of the Immigration and Nationality Department, could not have affected the 2012 General Elections.
Barrow said that the amount of persons who actually received illegal nationality certificates were too few to influence the elections. He estimated that there were around 30 persons who actually did not qualify; contrary to the testimony of former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan, who said that the number exceeded 2,000.
“That’s nonsense; they are talking about the two thousand where there was not the biometrics system in place. Nobody is saying that there were two thousand passports that were issued fraudulently,” Barrow said.
He added that the lack of biometric data screening did not amount to illegal issuance of the certificates, and added that he is willing to commission investigations into the suspected fraudulent documents issued.
He said that, in principle, anyone who is found to have a passport obtained through improper procedures is liable to have their passport and other documents cancelled. He maintained that his party secured a fair victory in the 2012 elections and no immigration scandal can question its legitimacy.
The last witness to testify before the Senate special Select Committee, Teresita Castellanos, gave an explosive testimony, in which she characterized the entire Immigration Department as being corrupt on every echelon. The inquiry continues on Wednesday.
Advertise with the largest and fastest growing audience in Belize ~ We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages. Your content is delivered instantly to thousands of users in Belize and abroad! Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 670-6397.
© 2017, BreakingBelizeNews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.