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Apr 26, 2017

Omar Phillips Tells How He Met ‘Kim’ and Penner for Passport Application

Omar Phillips

Back to the senate inquiry…the final witness called was officer Omar Phillips, who worked the front desk and received the Won Hong Kim application for a passport in 2013.  Phillips came face to face with then-Minister of State Elvin Penner when he presented the application, but he said he does not recall any conversation with Penner or meeting with Kim, who was of course not present in Belize. But Phillips claimed to have seen Kim, or his impersonator, at the Immigration office that day. And his application, at least at the outside, appeared to be in order.

 

Omar Phillips, Data Entry, Immigration Department

“At the time I was working the front desk, so I was the counter clerk.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“So you were the one who received the Won Hong Kim application?”

 

Omar Phillips

“Yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“But you weren’t doing the data capture at that point; it was Mr. Robinson.”

 

Omar Phillips

“Yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Do you recall receiving this passport application?”

 

Omar Phillips

“Yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Who did you receive it from?”

 

Omar Phillips

“Minister [Elvin] Penner.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Did he bring only this one to you?”

 

Omar Phillips

“That day, yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“What if anything did he say to you – did he say anything to you?”

 

Omar Phillips

“I can’t recall that we had any conversation, but normally they would just present the application – and if they would get it expedited, then they would either talk to the supervisor or the counter supervisor. (Interruption)”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Ordinarily you would get the application form from the applicant, right?”

 

Omar Phillips

“Yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“But this one, Mr. Penner brought it?”

 

Omar Phillips

“Ordinarily, it states that the person should present himself or herself to the office, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he has to hand you the application him or herself; other than there at the office.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“But who would they hand it to?”

 

Omar Phillips

“The applicant? The person at the front desk.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So that’s why – the person has to deliver it to the counter clerk; it has to be in person.”

 

Omar Phillips

“Like I said, the applicant has to present him or herself at the office; but what I’m saying is if you are applying, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you hand me your paper – if you are somebody that’s doing the transaction on your behalf – that’s what I mean.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“I understand that there were agents, you call them consultants…in this case it was Minister Penner. Did you see the person he was with, the applicant?”

 

Omar Phillips

“Yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So the applicant was there; how was he dressed, do you recall?”

 

Omar Phillips

“I don’t recall the exact – he had on a suit but I don’t recall the exact suit or how to describe it?”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Was the application complete – the application you received from Minister Penner?”

 

Omar Phillips

“It was.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So it had the required passport photos?”

 

Omar Phillips

“Yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Did you see anything peculiar or out of the ordinary with this particular application?”

 

Omar Phillips

“The only thing that would have been out of the ordinary would have been the spelling of the name – K-I-N instead of K-I-M. But like we made mention in the report: when we process a passport application, we use the source document or the original document. Because there are plenty of people that make mistakes on their form, and before we tell them to fill out another form and find another J.P., we don’t pay much attention to what they write, because we what use when we create the passport is the original birth certificate, the original nationality, the original expired passport, which would have the correct spelling of the name.”

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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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