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Jun 21, 2017

I did not know Nanes was illegal, Pacheco tells Senate

A few weeks ago we told you of the confidential report of the Immigration Department and former acting Director Maria Marin on the David Nanes Schnitzer affair. The Mexican-American faces fraud charges in the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme.  Nanes had been living in Belize for some time with various false documents until he was caught in 2016; however, he jumped bail after a court appearance and left Belize with a huge black eye. The confidential memo found several irregularities in the application and processing of the Nanes nationality documents, done by then-Immigration Clerk Ady Pacheco, the only one she accepted between October of 2012 and March of 2013. There was no explanation for the change of name to David Banes and an apparent rush job on the standard application interview resulting in his getting nationality in a record nineteen days after first applying, faster than the six-to-eight week waiting period. Worse, his permanent residency file could not be found and the number assigned to him was also assigned to another man, one Warren Mudry. The new Belizean neither swore an oath nor attended a swearing in ceremony and quickly applied for a passport which was picked up by none other than Ady Pacheco. While testifying before the Special Committee, the incident came up although it is outside the scope of the Committee’s investigations. However, it took place even after the time of the Auditor General’s Report, establishing a continuing process of irregular behaviour at the Department. Nonetheless, Pacheco admitted to her role though she claimed she did not see evidence of anything irregular going on. Her attorney, David Morales, intervened and got the Committee to agree that she would be provided the relevant documents in order to address the allegations head on.

 

Michel Chebat, P.U.P. Senator

“You were asked if you were aware than an illegitimate Belizean citizenship and passport was operating in violation of the laws. And you say that you were not aware.”

 

Ady Pacheco, Immigration Officer 1

Ady Pacheco

“Yes sir, I was not aware.”

 

Michel Chebat

“You were not aware and you were never involved?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“No sir.”

 

Michel Chebat

“You were never involved in the David Nanes case? Ms. Pacheco?” Were you involved in the processing of any fraudulent nationalities?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Not that I can recall.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Can you recall being involved in the David Nanes case?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Involved as?”

 

Michel Chebat

“As in processing the entire application for David Nanes and receiving his passport? Ms. Pacheco? Your under oath Ms. Pacheco.”

 

David Morales, Attorney for Ady Pacheco

“Can we stick to the parameters of the audit sir.”

 

Michel Chebat

“This is directly relevant to whether or not she knew there was an illegal scheme operating at the immigration department.”

 

David Morales

“But if I am not mistaken the Nanes case was after 2013, so how would that relate to previous?

 

Michel Chebat

“I am asking her if she knew that there was scheme operating.”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I did not know there was a scheme operating.”

 

Michel Chebat

“And you were not involved in any scheme?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I accepted the application and I processed some o f his application but I was not aware that it was anything fraudulent.”

 

Michel Chebat

“You were not aware?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“No sir.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Did you investigate?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“No sir.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Where you not investigated for David Nanes?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I was questioned as to certain actions.”

 

Michel Chebat

“In the David Nanes case? You did not only prepare the application form, you also conducted the interview, Ms Pacheco and that was in 2012 and that was the period under which this investigation occurred.”

 

David Morales

“Can we be pointed to a section in the audit report that deals with that please?”

 

Michel Chebat

“It is in Maria Marin’s investigation.”

 

David Morales

“It’s not in the auditor general’s report?”

 

Michel Chebat

“It is not in the auditor general’s report.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“It’s not in the auditor general’s report, I am not sure to what the senator is referring to in terms of the materials.”

 

Michel Chebat

“I am referring to the memorandum which contains investigation that was done by the acting director of immigration Maria Marin into the David Nanes case.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“You see the issue is that she would not have any of those materials, we provided her with the report so her council would not have had any of the materials.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Right, but she would know her involvement, wouldn’t she chairman? It is up to you (Ady) to explain your involvement and I don’t know if you understood the question, whether or not…”

 

David Morales

“Mr. Chairman, my client stipulated that she accept the questions failry.”

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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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