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Jun 21, 2017

Penner gave me Kim documents in hand, says clerk Ady Pacheco at Senate

The senate hearings got underway in Belmopan; the sole witness at the Senate Special Select Committee was Immigration Officer Ady Pacheco whose name appears frequently in the Auditor General’s report. The junior officer is named as a key player in the Won Hong Kim affair as, she admitted today, she was directly handed the file of the South Korean fugitive businessman to facilitate his Belizean nationality, by Minister of State for Immigration at the time, Elvin Penner. Pacheco was closely questioned by several Senators including Michel Chebat, who made his first appearance at the Committee today, filling in for fellow Opposition representative Senator Eamon Courtenay. While Penner’s memory was significantly faulty when it came to any conversation with Pacheco, she testified that he handed her the documents in the presence of her supervisor, Gordon Wade, knowing that there was key information missing, and that at least some of the information present was false. That nationality was used to grant Kim a Belize passport. But why was the application accepted in the first place? According to Pacheco, she, like other Immigration officers, lived in fear of displeasing powerful Cabinet ministers such as Penner if they showed any sign of refusing to obey their requests.

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“You accepted the application for Won Hong Kim?”

 

Ady Pacheco, Immigration Officer 1

“Yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Do you recall who gave you this application?”

 

Ady Pacheco

Ady Pacheco

“Minister Penner.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Minister Penner gave you it personally?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Did he say anything to you when he gave it to you?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I can’t recall; I know he was at the office, he brought it in, and I cross-checked with my OIC if it was okay to accept.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So your understanding was that Won Hong Kim was not present?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I never saw him.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Did you inquire as to whether he was present?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“No.”

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“Why would you have been given Won Hong Kim’s file directly by the Minister when you said previously that normally, these would go to the OIC?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I received the documents from him; my OIC knew that the documents were being brought in by the Minister.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“And this is the first time that the Minster gave you direct documents?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“My OIC was present.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“He was present when you…okay.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“But you did say that Mr. Penner gave you documents?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“You said that he was the Minister who gave you documents personally and that the OIC…”

 

Ady Pacheco

“He was present, meaning that the documents were not received or handled by Mr. Wade.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Do you recall saying that you accepted the application because you felt intimidated by Minister Penner?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I can’t recall saying that, it was so long ago. As for incomplete applications, it wasn’t anything that out of the ordinary to receive applications that were missing certain documents.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“I’ll come back to that shortly, I just want to be clear on one thing: Minister Penner – you said you can’t recall using the words that you felt intimidated by him. Do you recall feeling intimidated by him at that time?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“By him and by all the Ministers that came.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Can you explain what you mean by that?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Meaning that if any one of us would dare go against or not accept anything that was something they were recommending or…”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So you felt you had to accept the application, even though incomplete, because you were afraid of the repercussions from Minister Penner?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“From Minister Penner and from all the Ministers that came. I mean, this is Belize: if you don’t – this is how it works, sadly, but this is the truth; if an officer does not comply with the request made by a Minister, they simply just move you to somewhere else. So that’s probably what I meant at the time.”

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3 Responses for “Penner gave me Kim documents in hand, says clerk Ady Pacheco at Senate”

  1. Mike G says:

    Just a bunch of crooked jerks! The whole damn lot of them. But like the lady said, “This is Belize . . this is how it works”. Sad, disgusting, deplorable, illegal, and traitorous! And what will become of all this? Probably not a damn thing.

  2. fureal says:

    They gave her because they know she would take it…..big thief. she live the life on pay scale 5. she stood there and told all the lies.

  3. carlos says:

    The USA embassy should be looking at all these testimony and cancel any US visa from all those persons involved in this corruption. Who knows how many terrorists might have made their way to the US, through Belize. That is why our Belize Passport has no credential when you go across the boarders of Belize. Immigration in other countries have doubts about our document.
    I hope the government allows justice to be done and jail all those involved. The whole country and the people especially have been affected with this. It is not FAIR for us.

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