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Jun 28, 2017

No News On Missing Passports

Ady Pacheco

The Auditor General’s Report details many instances of persons being granted passports illegally.  But the Audit Department’s search uncovered thousands of blank passports that were simply reported as missing or possibly stolen.  Pacheco indicated that as with many things, the Department did nothing with regard to locating and restoring these important documents, which were re-introduced improperly into the system.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“You’re a member of staff; why was staff not alerted to the stolen passports and what efforts you were involved in to recover them, because it was not one instance; there were many instances. And I asked you earlier about the two hundred that you were assigned – but would you care to comment on the other stolen passports.”

 

Ady Pacheco, Immigration Officer 1

“They were probably stolen, misplaced during a period of time; we’d have to see what time periods those were.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“Yes, and the Auditor General cites – and the reason I am asking is that over a period of time these were missing, misplaced, lost, some spoilt ones recorded even came back into the system. In your experience, having been there so long, what it is that the Department did to inform officers like yourself – look, we have to be careful about these?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“They did nothing to keep informing – what they could have done, when the electronic system came into effect, they could have entered all of this information in there, so that people could be on the lookout for them. Without that, there’s no way of me or any of the other persons working there to know with certainty that this passport that is coming in for renewal was among any that had been stolen before, especially if that was a long time ago.”

 

The hearing continues next Wednesday with appearances from two Ministers of Government, Anthony “Boots” Martinez and Edmond Castro.

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