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Jul 19, 2017

Files Revealed Incomplete Addresses for Would-Be Belizeans

But what was among that list of files handed over? Valdez read a fairly long list of nationality files and accompanying documents for some familiar names such as Yiu-Pang Chen and Quoc Vinh Truong who would show up in the Audit Report. What he noticed from his long experience as a cop, including stints commanding Belize City and Dangriga, is that the preparers of the files were not exactly meticulous. Addresses in several municipalities were repeated for multiple applicants but proved to be far less than home.

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“In [each] case you found that there were either empty lots, burnt-down places; in the case of Sabal Street there is no Sabal Street…”

 

Julio Valdez

Julio Valdez, Retired Superintendent of Police

“No Sabal Street.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“And other general places, Las Flores, just an area…”

 

Julio Valdez

“It’s a big place but I tried to find… Chinese aren’t hard to find; by experience they’re not hard to find. Either they open a snack shop, a Chinese restaurant or shop. It’s scarce to see Chinese living in a day-to-day house like everybody else in Belize; they must put up a business; they’re not hard to find. I made checks on these addresses and these addresses were there, but the people who were under their names were not existent at the address.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“I just want to be clear about that; you were not able to connect these persons who had applied, their names to these addresses? You could not?”

 

Julio Valdez

“I could not. I could not. I visited P.G.I.A. to conduct further investigations…”

 

Mark Lizarraga, Pro-tem Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“Before you get to the P.G.I.A., when you saw this trend with the addresses, did you bring it to the attention of Director Marin and or C.E.O. Saldivar?”

 

Julio Valdez

“I am not sure; I think so. We discussed but I am not sure I brought the addresses to them; I think so. I recall bringing up some items to Miss Marin and she was concerned with these issues.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“But you are not sure?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Yeah, I’m not sure. I visited P.G.I.A. and spoke to the Port Commander then to confirm whether these people had entered or anybody from the list I had entered.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“When you did your interviews – remember, you said you were checking into how the process was done – do you know if there was any verification of addresses that should have been done? Should persons in Immigration Department have [checked]?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Immigration Department receives applications at the front desk clerk; she issues the receipt, the person at the desk should issue the receipt as to what documents you have, per se from experience they will tell you what is missing. That file is supposed to go to the officer in charge of Nationality Section; it goes into an investigative section they have there. They have investigators, who should interview and confirm these applications, then it returns to the officer in charge, Port Commander, and then I’m not sure if that continues but once you apply for nationality, there were Special Branch police used to conduct interviews, because they had to conduct interviews and this is where the addresses and the people themselves [were checked] to confirm yes, they exist and connect them to their addresses.”

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