COMPOL unsure of immigration security clearances

Posted: Thursday, July 20, 2017. 5:19 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Belize’s Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie has served as commissioner for 4 years and a police officer for 30 years.

Yesterday, he appeared to answer to the Senate Special Select Committee on the Auditor General’s report on irregularities into the Immigration Department. Compol Whylie told the committee that he only browsed through the auditor general report for 2 weeks.

The committee began asking him about the security clearance process in the Visa and Nationality Department.

Whylie answered that he is aware of security clearances like background checks done by the Special Branch Officers and the significance would have been to try identifying whether or not those persons who would be in problem with the law in their country.

The committee told Compol that the report indicates that the clearance was not carried out and the security process was ended.

Whylie indicated to the committee that he is unable to say whether or not the security clearance was carried through.

Senator Mark Lizarraga asked Whylie if he was familiar with the process and if he knew if it had ended.

Whylie answered, “ I am unsure and I stand to be corrected whether or not the requirement was a legal requirement by law or whether or not it was an administrative requirement by the department.”

In 2011, Whylie was CEO in the Ministry of Immigration and when questioned on the security clearances, he stated that up until today, he is unsure if the security clearances were by law or an administrative requirement.

“ No, I am still unclear up to today’s date,” Whylie stated.

Whylie explained that as CEO, he would hold monthly meetings with all the heads of the department and share any change of policies from government. Whylie made it clear that at no time did he receive any report from the director of immigration and never received any document from any immigration officer.

“ What I am aware of on my time as CEO, some people had arrived at the PGIA and had disembarked and disappeared, I spoke to the then director of immigration and advised that a report be made to the police and as a result, a number of immigration officers were arrested and charged by the police,” he stated.

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