Hon Beverly Castillo, Minister of State- Immigration addresses passports

Channel 7 News says that over the last 5 weeks they have been seeking official information from the Immigration Department regarding a report they received that the Department had discovered two fraudulent nationality documents. Beside questioning whether the two persons had ever been to Belize, they also questioned the authenticity of the documents which enabled the two Chinese nationals; namely Nina Huang and William Wang, to acquire nationality and a passport.  In the interview we aired yesterday, courtesy that media house, Minister Beverly Castillo she said that their inquiry reveals that these were passport renewals and that they caught these suspicious documents due to those new measures put in place after the Citizen Kim passport scandal.

Reporter: What is the status with those two persons who were applying for those papers?

Hon. Beverly Castillo, Minister of State- Immigration: Those two persons were not issued passports. They did appear irregular, and they have not returned for those passports so we again putting systems in place to look at those things, and those are some of things that springboards us into putting the proper structures into place. So we feel like we have the opportunity now, they will continue to surface. Somevlcsnap-2016-05-20-09h56m22s159 of these things were problems that were developed some time ago, and as soon as they surfaced, we nipped them. Each time we see one, we nip them, but it is to set the structure as I said to mitigate against those risks, and that is where we are with the new director, both in refugees and immigration.

Reporter: Can you disclose to us what those red flags were with these two applicants who we understand, can you confirm that they received Nationality certificates.  

Hon. Beverly Castillo, Minister of State- Immigration: Yes the Nationality Certificates appeared to be fraudulent.

Reporter: We were assured when this new system, after the Wang Hong Kim particular, that debacle happened, the then Minister Godwin Hulse assured us that the new structures for applying for Nationality Certificates and passports were a lot more tough, a lot more stringent, a lot more transparent, and so the question is, how could this have happened again if we were that more careful?

Hon. Beverly Castillo, Minister of State- Immigration: That is why we caught it, because we were very careful. And I believe those came from certificates that were issued a long time ago and were now in the process for renewal of passports, and that is when it came to light because the system is now stringent and it revealed them, so we will not reissue the passports, if we established that those certificates were fraudulent.  

When asked what was the information and documentation provided by the two Chinese individuals to get their nationality and passport in the past, Minister Castillo said she would get back to the media house on that.

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