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Sep 20, 2013

Name of South Korean national in Penner scandal revealed

Elvin Penner

On Thursday, Minister of State with Responsibility for Immigration, Elvin Penner, was fired for his alleged involvement in a scandal at that department. News Five has confirmed that the termination of Penner is related to the nationality certificate and a passport which was processed and issued to South Korean national. That person has been identified as Kim Wong Hong, who is under investigation by Interpol. Wong Hong was detained in early August and the passport was issued in early September while he was in detention in a Taiwanese lockdown.  The Prime Minister was sufficiently convinced of Penner’s complicity to fire him immediately on Wednesday. Today, News Five travelled to San Ignacio in an attempt to find Penner. First, we checked his political office, but were told that he rarely goes there. When we checked at his home, his government ride was parked outside, a brand new Hummer was parked inside, but he was nowhere to be found. Thanks to our colleagues at Krem News today there is word from Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse. He states that the decision to terminate Penner was the Prime Minister’s alone, and credits the new systems at the Immigration Department for unraveling this latest scandal.

 

Via Phone: Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration

Godwin Hulse

“Clearly the appointment and/or acceptance of any resignation by any minister is a matter for the Prime Minister. Myself as substantive Minister responsible for the department is to ensure administratively that the department functions smoothly. I have taken the position that we will carry out within the department a thorough and detailed investigation of public officers involved in the issuance of this particular passport and what their role way, and that is where we are going. The systems that we have put in place to ensure the integrity of the passport are working and will continue to work. Wherever we find that there are any flaws we will upgrade those and we ask the public to bear with us even though it seems a little inconvenient at times how passports are issued. I as the Minister intend to maintain the integrity of the Belizean people and to ensure that nothing untoward happens to in any way degrade that…and to ensure that when you present a Belizean passport anywhere in the world you can be proud of the document you carry. We’ve put in processes to ensure that including a stepped up data capture process, an approval process, etc. right along the way. That stems from the fact that previously there were allegations of passports being issued to all and sundry with only the signature of a Justice of the Peace. It is those improved systems that enabled us to identify that maybe something may have gone awry with the issuance of that particular passport and that is how we are able to follow up clearly our sequence of events. As I said to you earlier the investigation is underway and I do not intend in any way to jeopardize that by prematurely releasing any information…just to say that we’re on top of this, and we’ll get to the bottom of it clearly…but to assure the public that our systems are intact and we’ll move forward.”

 

As we reported on Thursday, Penner told us by text that he has no comment at this time, but was appointed by the people of his constituency so will continue to serve them to the best of his ability. This morning, the People’s National Party weighed in on the firing of the Minister of State. While it commends the P.M. for taking swift action, the PNP says that if Penner has violated any law, then he must be held accountable like any other citizen would be. The PNP also calls on the government to undertake a comprehensive audit of the Ministry of Immigration and nationality that was obtained illegally must be revoked. 

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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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10 Responses for “Name of South Korean national in Penner scandal revealed”

  1. gone fishing says:

    what ever happened to the Hezbollah Passport Office at the Immigration Department?
    Clearly somebody did not feed the food chain.

  2. Guerra says:

    A minister earn $65,000.00. He have to eat, feed, clothes and put roof over head for his family, just like everyone else. If he have kids in school, and loans to pay, that amount of money will not cut it. The size houses, and the amount these ministers are owning, shows that these boys are on the take BIG TIME, but we need INTERPOL to find them.. lol A new hummer landed in Belize could cost close to $200,000.00, no wonder his wife can’t cut her hair in Cayo anymore, because she can only mix with the RICH AND FAMOUS OF THE USA! The math’s no THE ADD UP! Oh please send Interpol to come find corruption in Belize, SEND SCOTLAND YARD, SEND FBI, SEND ANYONE cause the dumb could see it, but OUR POOR PM HEAD SO HOT, HE CANT FIND IT! LOL

  3. Concern says:

    Look at the picture people, the man is doing his illegal thing in public without fear. WE THE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW, since when does a minister get involve in handing out documents? Only under A UDP GOVERNMENT. If the public officers are afraid to do it, I don’t blame them, cause they definitely no have the powers to keep their job when Barrow TWO SIDED MACHETTE START TO SWING!

  4. Hooyah says:

    I can only hope that the brilliant PUP minds can come up with a laundry list of criminal charges against this traitor to our nation. PM, please prove just how serious you are and let his not just be a slap on the wrist. If not, how many more black eyes would it take on our beloved Belize before we can set an example for these treasonous acts?

  5. Hatari says:

    So the “Hon.” has a Hummer. Isn’t that interesting? Passports must carry a big price tag.

  6. egghead says:

    Damn Crooks…Put him in jail

  7. Frig says:

    They should have terminated the Minister Hulse and all the Immigration Department Staff too. Have you ever asked yourself why does everytime as scandal is made all the paper works disappear. Remember the plane load of Chinese at the P.S.W. Goldson, the scandal with the so call mennonite that died years ago and turn out to be a hezbollah operative and now this. To kill a snake you have to cut off its head.

  8. Me says:

    I hear Hummers cost $400 to fill up their gas tanks. Hmmm….

    But not only that, when ministers were nationalizing people left and right a week before election, Dean barrow said that everything was perfectly normal and on the up & up. Even Guatemalans were getting passports!!!! The Prime Sinister and his cabinet making millions for themselves instead of trying to help our little country that we try so hard to be proud of. As it is now, my passport expired and I got to jump through HOOPS to try get it renewed, born and raised in Belize.

    Ridiculous. Seems like in Belize, Belizeans come last and everybody else come first.

  9. James says:

    Well at last one UDP strong man was not “normal”. D man is “abnormal”.

  10. Joseph Blank says:

    This is the second year syndrome. They are taking the kitchen sink now. But what to expect? They get their cue from their boss, yes, Dean Barrow. They are common, sloppy crooks. The lawyers are big wheelers who operate in the world of “legal corruption.”
    Let”s hear what the Unions have to say. I won’t hold my breath. They were opposed to corruption when Musa was there. Suddenly, they seem not to know the meaning of the word. I wonder why?

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