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Oct 18, 2013

The visa trail revealed

Wilfred Elrington

Carlos Murga was intercepted by Cuban authorities in June, flying into Jose Marti Airport with seven Chinese passports in his possession. The matter raised a brief stink, but that breeze blew over quickly. But the ill wind tends to return, and the passport scandal has brought all sorts of public scrutiny with it. One persistent allegation is that there was a visa scam operated by the Ministry of Immigration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From what we gathered, the preferred route for the delivery of visas is Belize to Cancun to Havana. Couriers personally take the passports across the border and then deliver them to Havana. The embassy in Havana has long been reported as a main point for the issuance of the visas which can fetch as much as ten thousand dollars per visa.  On Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington was questioned about that long ago matter of the seven passports in Cuba. He claimed that a relative of Carlos Murga, who worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was terminated. But she wasn’t and News Five has confirmed that she was transferred to another ministry. Elrington also claimed that a driver, who was allegedly involved as a courier, is being let go as well.

 

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“I was also told that there’s a driver who has been with the ministry from time immemorial it seems, that he also was supposed to have been involved and I know that we have gotten instructions to get rid of that driver as well because there’s a zero tolerance. Prime Minister makes no bones about it…he wants to have zero tolerance for this sort of thing and so pressure is brought to bear on us. And when we get that instruction we pass it on to the office and it has to be dealt with and I think we’re in the process of dealing with it. But the truth is that being an attorney since 1977 I can tell you that not a scintilla of evidence, not even the smallest piece of evidence has been furnished to me evidencing that anybody in my ministry has in fact been involved with this business. I’m not saying they haven’t been involved. I’m simply saying that nobody has furnished me with any evidence – I don’t know if you have credible evidence, and if you have that credible evidence I would invite you to share it with me. Because the media seems to have evidence! But I think that if you do have evidence it is your responsibility to share it with the authorities.”

 

Today, News Five confirmed that the driver in question is Wayne Salazar and he is not being let go. In fact, he is being transferred, but not too far. His new posting will be at the Referendum Unit, which operates out of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Salazar rejected all allegations this afternoon and told us that he does not work for the Ministry of Immigration and so could not be involved in the issuance of visas. He explained that the nature of the job entails that he travel across the border continuously, but emphasized that not one hint of evidence has ever been brought directly against him. Salazar says that instead they should be looking at those who sign and procure visas. 

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4 Responses for “The visa trail revealed”

  1. criminal magnet says:

    >visas which can fetch as much as ten thousand dollars per visa.
    what is the going rate for a Belize passport, birth certificate and driver’s license?

    $10,001?
    $20,000?
    $50,000?

    >if you have that credible evidence I would invite you to share it with me.
    it is run by UDP, what else do you need to know?

    > zero tolerance.
    LOL, if they do not get their cut zero tolerance. many mouths to feed, corruption officers are hungry and need new luxury cars and majestic homes to lord above the commoners, let them eat cake crumbs.

  2. Concern says:

    Salazar rejected all allegations this afternoon and told us that he does not work for the Ministry of Immigration and so could not be involved in the issuance of visas. Elrington also claimed that a driver, who was allegedly involved as a courier, is being let go as well. (WHEN? : ) )

    Channel seven broke the news yesterday and the whole visa trade hid he fan like a ton of bricks. Transferring people do not solve the problem. They fester and continue as per usual. Ms. Murga who Elrington said was innocent public officer, is not innocent at all. She posted two photo of herself and Wayne on Facebook living the rich and famous life in Cuba. Wayne who is a public officer is still driving for the ministry of foreign affairs. Only under a UDP government can a person who is working for the Government of Belize, leave his job exceedingly regularly to go and deliver passports, and collect moneys WITHOUT BEING FIRED, for too much absences from the work place. Like Cedi the man man seem untouchable and today he was bold enough to say, ” I do not work for the Ministry of Immigration and so could not be involved in visa scandal! WOW…the lies will now START TO FLOW! : )

  3. Love says:

    The UDP have become a cesspool of corruption! Everybody is lying and tangling up themselves for the world to see. It’s time to CALL ELCETION NOW, as the people have lost complete confidence in this set of ministers. Can anyone show me which one of them is not collecting $$$$ under the table, over the table, around the corner, and yet they have the nerve to say, WE ARE THE CLEANEST BUNCH OF THIEVES TO EVER RUN THIS COUNTRY.

  4. Al Rich says:

    Mr Elrington continues to use the phrase “zero tolerance” because he thinks it sounds good and he believes it adds some color of sincerity. His use of that phrase is a lot of hot bull and it means nothing. The true meaning of zero tolerance is not to transfer and offender to another department, it means termination. When you transfer someone you are rewarding them for the wrong they have done. In essence you are saying ya, you did wrong, you helped to sell out your country but we will continue to pay you for treason.

    These politicians know that they are dealing with a bunch of people that they can hoodwink. They know that by election time they can give a few dollars away, build some a box that they call a house with 2×4 for steps and they got some votes. Oh my people why settle for a box that can be destroyed with one hurricane. Make demands for the kind of change that will allow you opportunity to build a nice house that you did not have to sell your dignity for.

    Oh I long for my country to return to some of what it use to be, a proud people who if they had just one dress it was washed and pressed. People worked hard and was proud of whatever little they had as long as it was honest. The time when if one neighbor had 5 fish, they would give one to the person next door.

    Churches need to intervene with prayer that God will raise up one honest person to lead this country. All it will take is one to begin to set the proper actions for the government in place. God’s intervention is the only thing that can change the course of this country. Put away all the false God’s and give this country to the one true God and allow him to save Belize.

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