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Leaked documents incriminates immigration officers in Nanes Schnitzer fraud

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017. 9:28 a.m. CST.
 

By BBN Staff:An internal document leaked from the Immigration and Nationality department this week, gave a  detailed breakdown of how accused embezzler David Nanes Schnitzer, worked with corrupt public servants and at least one Minister to get fraudulent Belizean documents.

The 14-page document, prepared by former Immigration Director Maria Marin and directed to her CEO, explained that things were wrong with Schnitzer’s documents, from his initial application in November 2012.

Marin said that Immigration Officer Ady Pacheco, accepted the application with several discrepancies, including the fact that the receipt had the name “Nanes” on it, but the application had the name “Banes.” It was also not the norm for Ady Pacheco to be accepting and signing for applications.

Pacheco also accepted the application, ignoring the fact that the United States Passport used in the application process was tampered with; again producing both the names: “Banes” and “Nanes” on the same copy. Regardless of the error, Pacheco wrote off the document as a “certified true copy.”

Pacheco also overlooked a clash in dates which had Schnitzer listed as a permanent resident since 2004, and an alternate which said he was a resident since 2006. Marin further said that there was no permanent residency file for either of those names and that the information linked to a file for one Warren Edward Murdy.

The leaked document made scathing allegations against Pacheco apart from wrongfully certifying some documents and conducting the interview the same day that the application was submitted. Marin claims that “the entire process was carried out by Ms Pacheco even though it was not the norm for one officer to perform several steps in the application process ie. accepting the application, preparing the file and conducting the inverview.

Marin further states that “it is not normal procedure for a nationality application to be granted in such a short time frame.” According to information on the file, “the entire process took only 19 days from application to completion while the process normally takes a minimum of 6-8 weeks and there is no facility in place for expedited services”.

We note that his application was also signed by Gonzalo Heredia – brother of Minister Manuel Heredia – a senior JP – who attested that he had known Nanes for 5 years. Nanes was not in the country during that period,” Marin said in the memo.

Marin recommended disciplinary actions for senior immigration officers Ady Pacheco and Gordon Wade, both of whom are named in the Auditor General’s Audit Report of the Immigration department. Both officers are also appearing before the Senate Special Select Committees as part of the public inquiry into various other incidents of wrong doing cited during the period 2011-2013.

The leaked memo also identified irregularity issues regarding Nanes entry into Belize and his permanent residency application by former Directors Ruth Meighan and Garrett Murillo, as well as it raised issue with Minister Castro’s recommendation, but Marin recommended that these be handled at a higher level.

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