Minister of Immigration comments on passport scandal

On Wednesday the Minister in charge of Immigration, the Hon. Godwin Hulse broke his silence on the recent Passport scandal. Minister Hulse called into Krem TV’s Wake Up Belize Wednesday morning to speak on the investigation.

Hon. Godwin Hulse- Minister of Immigration

vlcsnap-2013-09-26-09h18m46s25“This matter, as you know, is under very, very serious investigation.   There is going to be no attempt under my watch to whitewash anything.We also call on the public to give us the maximum of the assistance since they know many people are there, many people go to Passport Department, take pictures, etcetera; many people were there when these things were happening We have called some of them already, and of course they will not say who they are!    The Commission will be doing their own investigation, but the ministry itself which involves our CEO, Directors and other senior people in the Ministry obviously had to grab the matter first to begin at least the process; and so, it’s at the highest level of the Ministry that we’ve been working.   This is the Department of Immigration which comes under the Ministry.   There are nine departments we deal with and they are separate.   The Ministry controls, but there are directors in the departments, so, it’s not us who are going through investigating ourselves.   The departments runs under their directors, their purposes, their rules, their regulations and the Ministry assures and ensures that”.

The Office of the Solicitor General is serving as guide in the investigation. Now three Immigration personnel have been placed on suspension pending the outcome of the investigation, they are Sharon Neal – head of the Passport Division and Erwin Robinson and Omar Phillips – data entry clerks. CEO in the Ministry also spoke with hosts Mose Hyde and Sharon Marin as it relates to these officers.

Mrs. Candelaria Saldivar Morter- CEO Ministry of Immigration

vlcsnap-2013-09-26-09h24m12s204“Okay, what I was trying to explain is that because we are dealing with public officers, we have to be guided by the public service regulations, and the Public Service Commission’s regulations.   The Public Services Commissions Regulations is that if we have any kind of suspicion against any officer or officers, we need to write to them indicating what it is that we are investigating and what we have found and to give them the opportunity to give us a respond as to the allegations that we have against them; and we have done that process yesterday.  So, we cannot, we have not…the suspension part is just to allow us to continue with our investigation.   The Public Services Commission Regulations allows us to put the officer on suspension while we complete our investigation.  They are suspended with pay.   So, that’s to only allow us to do the investigation, and then, when we finish our investigation, when we have received a response from them, it is then that we make a case to the Commission whether we want another action to be taken against these officers”.

Those interviews are courtesy our colleagues at Krem TV.

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