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Oct 2, 2013

Will there be a criminal investigation into passport scandal?

Dean Barrow

While the Ministry of Immigration is investigating itself, there has been an open call for a criminal inquiry into the issuance of the fraudulent Belizean passport to South Korean businessman Kim Won-Hong.  On Tuesday, a formal report was filed by talk show host Evan Mose Hyde requesting the involvement of the Belize Police Department in the matter. But this afternoon the Prime Minister pronounced that having pored over the evidence and circumstance presented to him, Barrow threw cold water on the notion of a criminal investigation since he has decided that the merits of that argument cannot be sustained.  The issue of Kim Won-Hong’s absence from the nationality process, according to Barrow, does not advance the assertion that it was a criminal act.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Penner was obliged to resign by me.  In fact, the letter, I believe, has now gone to the Governor General and, in effect, he was removed from the ministry by me.  And so I think that he has been properly punished for his role in the incident but I also said, both as a lawyer and as head of the government, I looked at the circumstances as closely and as fairly and as critically as I could and I am satisfied that there is no basis on which any criminal charges could successfully be laid.  There is no evidence at all that could sustain a criminal prosecution against Penner.  That is my position and I am telling you that that position doesn’t come about because I am in anyway trying to protect Penner.  He has been removed.  He has, in effect, been fired.  Under the requirements, a person being given a passport ought to appear in person and have his picture taken.  The fact that that person did not appear, I am saying that that does not advance the matter because we always knew that, because we knew that the person to whom the passport was issued was in jail in Taiwan.  The people in the immigration department who, nevertheless, issued the passport without the person, the recipient of the passport appearing to have his picture taken, appearing to make the application in person.  Those persons now have to answer.  But how does that make it any worse for Penner?  It is bad enough as it is and I have acted but how does that make it any worse?”



“It appears that he signed those pictures that are of the person who was in prison at the time and he needed to appear in person…”


Dean Barrow

“No Ma’am.  Look.  Ma’am.  Look at the requirements.  The person who signs the passport picture as a recommender, there’s nothing that says that at the time you sign the passport picture the person must be in front of you.”

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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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8 Responses for “Will there be a criminal investigation into passport scandal?”

  1. belizebelize says:

    all I will say is…why don’t you allow a COMMITTEE formed by members of the Police Department, DPP Officer, Senate Committee, and Opposition party conduct a INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION and then see if there are enough evidence to lay CRIMINAL CHARGES to Mr. Penner….I no way he is honorable…. I am vex because when I travel to the U.S., they will believe am not a Belizean…they will harass me thinking that I purchased my nationality and citizenship….wake up Belize…I applaud Mr. Moses Hyde on what he did….I hope there is TV Ads or campaign to show the Belizean people over the cover up…either Penner go to jail or he go to jail…no question…he FORGED a paper…can an NORMAL PEOPLE do that? (am using DPM Vega ‘normal people’ trademark)…WAKE UP BELIZE….don’t let this pass…what happen with the destruction of the archeological site in the North??? what happed after the investigation??? the man still di get more contracts…nothing happen until we Belizeans continue the pressure until we see results….lets not forget it or leave it half way

  2. beano staunches gas says:

    “That is my position and I am telling you that that position doesn’t come about because I am in anyway trying to protect Penner.”

    100% believable!!!

    he is protecting himself, Beano, and the UDP that keeps him in power.

    penner is colateral damage, as long as penner does not spill the beans and rats the party out.

    be sociable, share!

    so most definitely penner has not commited a crime, therefore no further investigation, and very much so, no trial.

  3. Love says:

    PM said and we quote: “The fact that that person did not appear, I am saying that that does not advance the matter because we always knew that, because we knew that the person to whom the passport was issued was in jail in Taiwan.”

    (Was it ok for PM to say Penner did nothing wrong when he sign documents, Nationality Certificate, Declaration form and photos so a VERY RICH CRIMINAL, can get a Belizean passport?) Penner claim he knew this man, who he met on business trips before he became a minister, but in truth he had never ever met this man.)

    No WHERE IN HIS EMAIL DID PENNER SAY THAT MR. Wonhung Kim was in JAIL when he signed the documents, and if he was in JAIL why did he sign a Nationality Certificate, the Declaration form, and photographs, which specified that he knew Wonhung Kim for 3 years, so a passport can be prepared?

    Penner Said in his email we quote:
    1: “What I do know is that (an) Asian person whom I have known through business trips, even before I entered politics, came to me for a signature so he could get HIS passport.

    (Mr. Wonhung Kim was known to him before he entered politics, and wanted to get HIS passport.)

    2: He also mention that he needed it urgently since HE was about to go on a trip and was more than willing to pay the regular one day service fee.”

    ( Mr. Wonhung Kim needed HIS passport because HE was going on a trip, even though he was in jail in Taiwan.)

    3: Penner adds, “The picture on the nationality document he presented to me,

    (Mr. Wonhung Kim showed him HIS PICTURE ON THE nationality certificate.)

    4: the Korean passport that he had with him and

    (Mr. Wonhung Kim had his Korean passport, which proved that he was the same person on the nationality certificate.)

    5: the passport size pictures that I also signed did not raise any suspicion since they were all of the same person.

    (Why would he sign a passport picture for Mr Wonhung Kim was the man was with him, wanting his passport in one day. The passport office have it’s own photographic equipment, and does its own photography.)

    6: The person whom I knew as Mr. Kim.”

    (Penner said the man before him that needed his passport was Mr. Kim, whose real name is Wonhung Kim, as can be seen on the documents signed!)

    7: Penner’s email said, he wanted to help the business person and personally went with Wonhung Kim to the passport office to: and we quote, “see to it that he would get proper attention and would get HIS passport the same day.” End quote.

    (He Penner went with Wonhung Kim, to ensure that he would get the proper attention so he would get HIS PASSPORT the same day.)

    The Prime Minister Of Belize, OUR PRIME MINISTER is saying that they knew Wonhong Kim was in JAIL, but Penner was accompanying Wonhung Kim, every step of the way to ensure that he was well attended to. No where in his letter, did he say someone, NOT WONGHUNG KIM brought the documents to him. After all he knew this man even before he entered politics, which could be more than six years! LOL Can you people make better sense out of this, than the PM?

    Lastly…Penner said the man on TV NEWS was not Mr. Wonhung Kim that was with him when he signed the documents, because the pictures are different. FOR the public information, the picture Penner signed, the picture on the Nationality Certificate and the picture in the Passport given, are all of Mr. Wonhung Kim who was with Penner at Immigration Office in Belmopan, and in jail in Taiwan at the same time! Money buy anything in BELIZE and you even get personally escorted by a MINISTER as long as you have PLENTY OF $$$$$$$$! Nobody want to help we poor rass people even though we born and grow here in Belize! lol

    DO YOU THINK Penner would have accompany us poor Belizeans, to ensure we get the best treatment at Immigration if we were in the same situation? Can the MEDIA check to see if Mr. Eric Chan received a passport for himself on the 9/9/2013 so he could go on a BUSINESS TRIP as a business man to Taiwan?

  4. m.price says:

    A true 3rd world leader at work. Bandits bandits bandits, with no shame. Someone needs to beat all of them with a shame stick.

    and the poor fool fool Belizeans will vote for them again and if not for.them they will vote for the last ones they threw out of office for stealing..

    And the beat goes on

  5. Retired CEO says:

    Wake up. wise up and rise up Belize! How long will you allow these unscrupulous politicians play with your brain, washing and sub-planting whatever they want you to think and believe.

  6. Belizean Pride says:

    what has the media lack to find is, who was the man that was dealing with Penner while the passport was being process? can be pin point the man who lied to him about it also. that person should be criminally charged for forging false document, but wait nothing is heard of such asian man known to penner. only penner, Mr. kim and Eric chan. really there points that are missing in this investigation.
    mein they are mixing up themselves but bet it will fade away as time goes by and nothing will happen since barrow is on his side even if he denies it, it’s clearly obvious. that monthly payment is the rest penner must be collecting from Mr. kim.

  7. melvin says:

    shame,shame on pm barrow,as a lawyer? pls he is just spliting up his face and its just gona drop back eh face again,pls pm stop cover ur corruptions,well penner’s one-plssss do di right ting we Belizeans da no fools,da fool di talk but da no fool di listen”.plsssssssss people of Belize wake up we cannot allow dis madarassss to continue mein dis gone too far.Belizeans deserve better.this gone tooooo farrrr.1st-plane landings at the phillip goldson int’l airport at night with chinese nationals? lands dept corruptions,rosewood corruptions? KHMH inquiry report about corruption? NOH-MULL maya ruin destroyed by UDP crony mr.grijalva? KHMH 13 babies that died due to the ministry of health incompetence/ignorance ? SIF corruption? PENNER/PASSPORT CORRUPTION? wat moreeeeeeeee? f6%& while thousands are unemployed,failing health depts/hospitals, poverty growing every day,high cost of fuel,high cost of groceries/living/ failing infastracture across Belize/ murders,robberies, and wat will be next?

  8. Guerra says:

    Why don’t we cut to the chase. The man Penner knew was Erikito Chang! He did not know him from any business trips, but from City Council. Erikito organize the whole shebang, including bringing the Korean passport and without promising Penner the amount of $$$$ they will make they went from office to office putting the documents together on behalf of Wonhung Kim. The only thing Penner needed to know was that the man was filthy rich, not even that it was stolen money…but…that he was willing to PAY!…LOL To solve the problem of getting the passport from Belize to Taiwan, they looked for a person who had diplomatic status, love little girls, and like easy money too. Walla…Casterio was to be the man. After all, all the ministers are corrupt, but Castrerio would have been happy even without money as long as he had a lady Taiwanese Protocol Officer to chaperone him like a prince around. They probably even promised him she will be kind to him, and Casterio was deliriously happy. So happy that after he delivered the package, he decided to make himself happier. To his amazement he found the PM calling him and telling him to get his rass back to Belize immediately! Like a sheep, he asked…What did I do? I did nothing, and he was absolved, like Penner, and maybe Erikito too…

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