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Mar 9, 2017

What was Chang Doing in Taiwan?

Kim Won Hong

The then Ambassador of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Cherie Nisbet, detailed in emails later used by the Audit her encounter with Eric Chang on the day he sought Belizean visas for two businessmen from Korea, who were to visit Honduras, but wanted to come to Belize in search of “investment opportunities.” Ambassador Nisbet described Chang as being,   “in a panic, asking me if I could urgently issue a visa to two S. Korean nationals who NEED to go to Belize the next day. I asked Eric what was the emergency, as I needed to know what was the emergency before I could issue a visa, as well as I needed all documentation filled out and approved. Eric could not give me the reason for the emergency and told me that he may have had to call a “minister” in Belize to issue visas upon arrival.” She later described a call from Chang detailing his visit to the Taiwanese detention center where Won Hong Kim was being held, though he was never identified to her by Chang.  Ambassador Nisbet said Chang did tell her that he didn’t make it in to see Kim.  Later, the Ambassador was called by Taiwanese immigration officials confirming Chang attempting to visit Kim and their warning to him that it was not advisable for him to do so. So why the calls, and were they cover for trying to get Kim his fraudulent passport and nationality? The Senate panel put the questions to Chang on Wednesday and these were his responses.

 

Eric Chang

Eric Chang, Former Deputy Mayor of Belize City

“Ambassador say I called in a panic, I mean yes I called her because due to-“

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“It’s right on page fourteen.”

 

Eric Chang

“Yes… They say it’s urgent, Eric calls me in a panic asking if I could urgently issue a visa but I don’t see where the panic come in right? I mean yes it is urgent, how urgent lead to panic? I mean that’s just her opinion.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“But you are unable to give her a reason for the necessity for the visa but you gave us the reason today, which is that these were investors who wanted to come to Belize? Why didn’t you tell Ambassador Nisbet the reason?”

 

Eric Chang

“Because I learned afterwards. I thought it was a simple thing that just call the ambassador and say hey these two investors, can you assist, that was a simple thing in my mind that I didn’t know it was so complicated.”

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