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Jun 29, 2017

Immigration Kept in Dark About “Fake” Belizeans

Ady Pacheco

Earlier in this newscast, we told you of the U.S.’s disappointment in how Belize is handling the issue of trafficking in persons. It also came up at the Senate in the case of one Muhammad Zaghlool.  In 2014, outside the time of the Auditor General’s Report, he was held in Mexico with Belizean nationality by registration. But Immigration Clerk Ady Pacheco contends that no staff was told of this.


Ady Pacheco, Immigration Officer 1

“The Department appeared to have been facilitating the illegal trafficking of persons, as internationally suspected human traffickers and persons traveling with blank passports were the holders of Belizean nationality by registration. Examples are as follows.”


Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“As staff, were you ever informed about this?”


Ady Pacheco

“No, sir.”


Mark Lizarraga

“Never through any memos?”


Ady Pacheco

“Not that I can remember, no. At this time – this says April 2014 – if they knew this was happening this could have been placed in the electronic system that is currently used. That can easily be placed in there, so that anyone – the need of memos does not have to be sent out.”


Mark Lizarraga

“Thank you very much. That is what I was trying to get to – that there is a way…”


Ady Pacheco

“Yes, there is a way.”


Mark Lizarraga

“To communicate across the Department, to all the officers, people like yourself; everybody could be notified?”


Ady Pacheco

“Yes, that if this person comes to your station, as soon as you place the passport on the scanner for entry, an alert will pop up on your screen.  It’s not being used.”

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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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