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Mar 2, 2017

Supervisors’ Decision a Matter of “Administration”

As noted, a decision was taken, later endorsed by Cano, to basically pretend as if the visas had never gone missing. It involved receiving payment from legitimate travellers seeking a visa. They were issued the numbers corresponding to the missing visas and the money went into the Government Treasury with none the wiser. Vernon Leslie’s report maintains, “All efforts were done to avoid great embarrassment on the Department and to avoid excessive loss of revenue…if the decision made was not the best one, it was chosen sincerely to minimize great revenue loss and embarrassment to the Immigration Department. Asked outright if he knew that the solution they took was wrong, Vernon Leslie told the Senate panel that it was a matter of administration.

 

Vernon Leslie

Vernon Leslie, Former Immigration Assistant, Western Border

“Basically we were hoping – we had not established as yet what happened to the visas, remember? We don’t know if it was a prank, maybe somebody was messing around with us – we weren’t sure what happened to them. So in our urgency to find out what happened, we reported to him; if he doesn’t do anything, we started to try and find out what happened because we were sure if they were stolen – I didn’t have an idea that they were stolen, understand, Chairman? We were a bit unsure of what [to do] and that’s why we requested our Port Commander…”

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“Mr. Leslie, I think from our point of view, you would accept, in hindsight, that that decision was wrong.”

 

Vernon Leslie

“What decision, sir?”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“The decision to take the hundred dollars, put on the application form the number for the missing visa and then stamp in the passport the wet stamp for in-transit, so as to give the impression that there was no loss of revenue and that these visas were actually issued to the persons in whose passports the wet stamp appeared.”

 

Vernon Leslie

“Senator, can I answer?”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Sure.”

 

Vernon Leslie

“This was all ventilated exactly a year ago, in front of all the learned people in the Public Service Commission, which is the legal and the highest authority in the Public Service. We ventilated all these issues to them, and they found no problem with that; we were completely exonerated for that.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“But only that you didn’t answer the question – the question is whether in hindsight you feel that it was wrong?”

 

Vernon Leslie

“It wasn’t illegal, what we did; it was more of an administrative issue.”

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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 “Supervisors’ Decision a Matter of “Administration””

  1. Integrity says:

    oooppsssss….somebody has fallen into his own trap… time to say the truth…

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