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Sep 27, 2017

Was Immigration Involved in Border Entry Scam in West?

Another example of supposed hustling extends beyond Immigration to the Border Management Agency under the Ministry of Tourism. There have been reports that officers of that agency have assessed extra fees to those crossing into Belize from the Western Border. While it has not been determined if an incident captured on camera involves an Immigration officer, there is a prior complaint that did not get anywhere because the persons involved were not cooperative. Immigration Director Diana Locke gave details to Committee chair Mark Lizarraga.

 

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

“Persons coming in to the country from Central America were being charged by officers one hundred and twenty dollars at the Western Border. Can you please speak to us about what has been done to address this information that I gave to you?”

 

Diana Locke

Diana Locke, Director of Immigration

“Prior to your contacting me, we had a similar complaint from another statutory body in Belize, and the failure to address that situation resulted from the fact that the persons who made the complaint would not give a name. That is very important; if I am to take any action, I need to have a name of that person who crossed the border. I don’t have to pass that information to my officers; I can verify that information myself. If one Mark Lizarraga crossed the border and had that experience – if he comes in, provides his name, I can verify that he did cross the border at that day and time, and I am able to determine who was the officer that processed him to come into the country; we can work back from there. On receipt of those two complaints, I spoke to the officer in charge of the border at that time and I said to him that these were consistent complaints that we were getting; we had heard those complaints from other persons before; he assured me that nothing was happening. Recently I was made privy to that fact there was something indeed happening; the Ministry of Tourism, which covers the border management and the tourism officer at the border have since dismissed a couple of their workers, who they found to have been involved in what was happening there. I don’t think any of those people indicated in their interviews whether or not an Immigration officer was involved, but I have been shown some footage which would need to be investigated further to see whether or not indeed an Immigration officer was involved in what was actually happening. But there was a process there where they were able to determine that some persons were collecting money.”

 

Director Locke said she has asked the Border Management Agency to replace the cameras inside the office and for another camera 

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2 Responses for “Was Immigration Involved in Border Entry Scam in West?”

  1. meandi says:

    This hustle is still ongoing. It is time to do a proper investigation on various instances of questionable activities going on still. While there, look into the director of border management, lotta huustle going on.

  2. asdfgh says:

    AND HOW MUCH THEY COLLECTING FROM THE GUATEMALAN TAXIS OPERATING IN THE CAYO DISTRICT?
    ATLEAST THEY SHOULD TELL THOSE GUATEMALAN TAXIS TO OBEY TRAFFIC RULES, SIGNS, ETC !
    WE BEG, WE IMPLORE SOMEONE FROM THE APPROPIATE OFFICE TO KINDLY COME TO STOP GUATEMALANS FROM PICKING UP PASSENGERS ON THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS,OBEY TRAFFIC SIGNS, SLOW DOWN , THEY DRIVING LIKE DESESPERADOS, PLEASE.

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