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Feb 16, 2017

George Reynolds Defends Action in Missing Visas Case

On Wednesday we told you of the run-in between then-port commander in charge of Immigration Services in Belmopan, George Reynolds, and Patrick Tillett, financial controller of the Belize City Council, at Reynolds’ Belmopan office. Tillett and former deputy Mayor Eric Chang had come into possession of eight missing visa foils, which were later learned to have been stolen. It is not clear if they knew that, but when he visited Reynolds, Tillett was seeking confirmation of authenticity. Reynolds said that he did confirm that the foils, two of which were in passports, were authentic. But he told Tillett that he should have the original office where he got the foils “fix” them, as he had requested of Reynolds to do. Reynolds defended his actions to the Senate Committee, saying he would have certainly acted differently with different knowledge.

 

Reverend Ashley Rocke, Churches Senator

“Would it have been in your possession to hold those two passports, since there was seemingly something irregular about them?”

 

George Reynolds

George Reynolds, Former Port Commander, Immigration Services (Belmopan)

“There was nothing irregular, sir. Just the omission of the stamp: sometimes that happens; it was something that happened more than once, so I didn’t see it as irregular. And we usually give them the benefit of the doubt to go get it fixed.”

 

Ashley Rocke

“How would it not be seen as irregular when this person is asking you to legitimize this document?”

 

George Reynolds

“You are using that word legitimize when I stated he did not use that word; he asked me to fix something. He didn’t ask me to legitimize anything.”

 

Ashley Rocke

“So you don’t think that’s what you did, or you were asked to do? Because you say…”

 

George Reynolds

“I don’t really understand your question.”

 

Ashley Rocke

“Listen to what you said: you said that he asked you to fix; clearly if he wanted to fix something, it means something was wrong with the document. Is that the normal process that happen at your office.”

 

George Reynolds

“Fixed can be wrong or fixed can be something omitted, but when you said something wrong, it could be that something needed to be changed. But if something is omitted that still needs to be fixed but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It just means something is omitted.”

 

Ashley Rocke

“When did it come to your mind that something was wrong, then?”

 

George Reynolds

“When the news came to us about the missing visa, and the only ones that came to me that were not issued by me were those two. So I called Mr. Tench immediately and I told him to look at this person because he brought two visas that were not issued to me and check out to see exactly if those who were two of the eight and it turns out there was.”

 

Ashley Rocke

“In hindsight it would have been right to withhold those two documents?”

 

George Reynolds

“You see we are talking about timeline and knowledge. If you have knowledge of something you act differently on a situation, I had no knowledge of that so I couldn’t be in hindsight whatever to hold something that I didn’t see the necessity to hold.”

 

According to Reynolds, he was not asked to speak in the subsequent investigation into what happened to the visa foils and stickers. He said he had no idea what made Vernon Leslie “exaggerate” his statements to the investigators.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “George Reynolds Defends Action in Missing Visas Case”

  1. Marie says:

    Plain and simple they twist words just to evade the answer. Guilty!

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