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Jun 28, 2017

How Did San Pedro Harmouches Get So Much Help?

Ady Pacheco

Pacheco was also questioned about the case of the Harmouch family of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, who appeared to recruit a powerful ally in area representative Manuel Heredia Junior. In the case of Mohammed Harmouch, he was interviewed for nationality but was not recommended by the Officer in Charge, Gordon Wade. However, Gertrude Armstrong, who assisted Wade in nationality application reviews alongside Pacheco, appeared to overrule her boss. So what was the reason for that?

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“Do you recall at all dealing with an application for Ahmed Hani Harmouch?”

 

Ady Pacheco, Immigration Officer 1

“Not in specific.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“You do not recall. Do you recall interviewing Mr. Harmouch?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Well, there were many Harmouch applications.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“And these Harmouches were the Harmouches from San Pedro?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Most of them had addresses from San Pedro, yes.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“And your experience is that they were facilitated by the Honorable Manuel Heredia?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I wouldn’t go as far as saying facilitated, but in most cases he was writing recommendations for them or requesting.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“He was in fact assisting them, wouldn’t you say?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes, assisting them in a way or form, yes.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“What do you mean by that?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“That he would recommend these people.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“That’s what you mean?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Take a look at paragraph seven on page 233. You conducted in the interview and the question was asked: who is assisting the applicant in his application. Answer, Miss Ady Pacheco wrote, “Refer Minister Manuel Heredia” – yes?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes, sir.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Is it your evidence that Minister Heredia referred this person for – go ahead.”

 

Ady Pacheco

“For me to have written that in there would be that in his file there had to be some sort of recommendation from Minister Heredia.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“And you are aware that Mr. Wade did not recommend this man for nationality; you know that? Look at paragraph nine. You want to read that for me?”

 

Ady Pacheco

 “The OIC Nationality Section, Mr. Gordon Wade, did not recommend the applicant for nationality; but wrote a note date eleventh January, 2012 was made by Ms. Gertrude Armstrong, who was a clerk in the Nationality section, who recommended the applicant for nationality to the Director.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Am I correct in understanding that the head of the Department did not recommend, but in fact Ms. Armstrong, who was a clerk, recommended the person for nationality? Is that what the Auditor General is saying?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“That’s what she’s saying.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Is that normal?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“If the person didn’t qualify, Mr. Wade was rightful in saying he could not recommend; as for Ms. Gertrude’s recommending, I can’t really answer.”

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