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Nov 12, 2013

Whistleblower gives powerful and compelling one-on-one interview

On October twenty-third, in the midst of an investigation into massive corruption in the Immigration Department, a confidential informant came forward. She provided a firsthand account of meetings in which she paid Minister of State Edmund Castro money to facilitate and expedite visas for Chinese nationals. She detailed the entire process – from delivering the documents and money to Castro…to getting the approvals for the visas…to visiting the Immigration Department to pick up the passports with visas attached. Her testimony was detailed and compelling, and involved a period of six months in which the minister of state was allegedly being paid to expedite the issuance of visas. When that story broke, the government went into denial mode. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is out of the country, but before he left, he stated that he and Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse found no evidence to indict Castro. Castro has continually dodged the media, but issued a release denying the allegations. But now it has all gotten very much bigger, very fast. The informant has come out, and appeared on the Dickie Bradley Special on Monday night. There is no good news for Castro, as she confirmed that she was interrogated at length by the U.S. about the visa hustle involving Castro. And she says her interrogators had recordings of conversations with Minister of State Edmund Castro.

 

Alverine Burgess, Whistleblower

“They called me to go to the embassy in Belmopan. It was a Friday and I’ll never forget that day. That was a torment to my soul. They investigated for three hours. I literally left in tears.”

 

Dickie Bradley

“One person or more than one interrogated you?”

 

Alverine Burgess

“More than one…three people…”

 

Dickie Bradley

Alverine Burgess

“If you can…tell us what happened. They questioned you?”

 

Alverine Burgess

“They asked me questions about visas and passports. They showed me booklets with pictures…if I could identify some of these people.”

 

Dickie Bradley

“People who would get visas or passports?”

 

Alverine Burgess

“I don’t know if these people were in a visa ring or whatever…but…”

 

Dickie Bradley

“But I mean the questions were if you did visas for any of these people or if you know that they got visas?”

 

Alverine Burgess

“If I did visas for them or if I know them….and I told them no! And after being asked numerous questions and denying knowing some answers, one of the investigators mentioned – “so are you really denying?” I said yes. He said – “Suppose we have proof?” I said you can’t have any proof because there’s no proof. He said okay, we’ll give you proof. And that’s when he pulled out a computer and put it in front of him and when he put on that computer…big conversation. There was a conversation with me and Minister Castro and another person. My voice, Minister Castro’s voice…I was very, very scared.”

 

Dickie Bradley

“You heard what is a recording of you and the Minister talking business about visas?”

 

Alverine Burgess

“Yes.”

 

Dickie Bradley

“You heard a conversation taped between you and one of the persons you did visas with?”

 

Alverine Burgess

“Yes.”

 

Dickie Bradley

“You were confronted with that?”

 

Alverine Burgess

“Yes.”

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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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20 Responses for “Whistleblower gives powerful and compelling one-on-one interview”

  1. Concern says:

    Greedy ministers have been destroying little Belize. They have been endangering ourselves and the world around us by giving people visa who do not deserve it. While they line their pockets, they still have the nerve to tell us, we no d do nottin! That is so not true, because one visa to Honwong Kim will not give them the mansions they have built for themselves, and their salary cannot. While all this is going on, the UDP party is filling their WAVE TV station with enough money to last a lifetime at our expense. That is corruption to the max. They are thinking, if we should fall, we will have enough money to last for fifteen twenty years, and we see these things and say nothing. They have government commercials going on almost 24 hours a day. One would think its a general election, but that is how they fill their coffers legally. We need to wake up! We dare you senor to take this lady to court for deformation of character.

  2. Guerra says:

    We dare Castro to take this woman to court for what she is saying! Show us you have the b@@ls to do so!

  3. sickntired says:

    Bwoy castro betta hope he got a visa to cuba cause dat da weh belize need fi ship fi he bottom. He could check di price fi wah visa like dat wid one a he runners. A bet murga could name off prices fa di top a de head. I glad di us embassy weh shock them up. We need fi clean up belize from deyya hustlers.

  4. MIZZ BARROW says:

    All right Castro, the proof is on the table. What are you going to do? If you don’t sue this whistleblower, we will perceive you like the Dodo that you are. So go ahead and sue. We are waiting you little coward.

    By the way, please do not hide behind mi bredda. He has flown off to California with the pretext of a bad back (have you noticed that every time there is a scandal, mi bredda back flares up). Mi bredda done invest his cut of the VISA scandal money (new house in California) so do not expect a refund Castro.

  5. From the West says:

    So the NSA is monitoring Belizean minister’s phones too.

  6. Buju says:

    I am a basic person – i have one question!

    If Ms. Burgess gave Minister Castro $400,000 she much could have afford something that looked better than that old frack that she wore on National tv

    lol

  7. Average Bzean Citizen says:

    I am terribly disappointed in the Prime Minister. I have believed him to an honorable man, having to work with some incompetent people. But when he stands to defend these crooks, my image of him begins to disintegrate. I believe if Prime Minister would stand up for the Belizean people and kick the corruption out, I would still vote for this government. But to stand to defend crooks, makes himseem a crook too. Sad.

  8. Educated Dunce says:

    You’re MY new Belizean HERO gial!!

  9. Elgin Martinez says:

    Is the extradition treaty applicable to Barrow and colleagues?If so then lets get him Castro,penner and Hulse extradited.

  10. GrigaMan says:

    As any Belizean with half a brain should know by now, the US has detailed information on all the scandals in Belize, and they could blow the lid off the Belizean Government if they really wanted to; however, they will just sit on the info and use it like a true puppet-master to control the corrupt politicians. As long as Belize keeps doing the bidding of the US (e.g. unregulated oil-drilling, de-decriminalization of the homosexual agenda, extradition treaty, etc.) then all is well. Whenever the US wants something from Belize, they always get it, because they know which screws to turn. All the politicians (PUP & UDP), especially the corrupt ones, are puppets of wealthy foreigners and the US. When will my people wake up and see things as they are?

  11. Louisville,Ky says:

    Check yah…..I am in no way trying to defend or powder and lotion any dishonesty on the part of any crooked Politician. BUT. It is not only the Politicians that are crooked in Belize. When these gangsters came to you at election time and offered you money for your votes you took it. Not ONE of you refused and told Mr. Man where he can take his money and shove it. Not ONE!!.

    Red do it and Blue do it, so you could exchange white monkey fi white dog if you want. Truth is, the more things change, the more they remain the same. You have no one to blame but yourselves.
    So just tek unnu Bukut and stop the B…….. Cloth crying. Bunch of hypocrites!
    Cold Talk!!

  12. reat says:

    Alverine Burgess why are you going to the US Consul with this information. What do you think the US is? Are you looking for a green card? You have no right to be going to the US embassy to spill. Belize is a Sovereign Country. The US is a Guest in our country. I do not condone what the politicians are doing. They should be investigated and charged. But what you did also warrants an investigation, and you should also be charge for treason.

    Peace

  13. macal rivera says:

    THIS WOMAN IS A S GUILTY AS CASTRO!!!!
    IMAGINE SHE HELPING ALIENS GET NATIONALITY!!!!!
    MADAS!!!! TIRED OF ALIENS TAKNIG OVER OUT COUNTRY, NOW SHE SAY THAT WAS HER JOB!!
    I NEED TO ASK HER WITH WHOM SHE WAS WORKING TO HELP THESE ALIENS????
    AND PLEASE LADY DONT SAY YOU NEVER GET PAY!!!!
    I AM SURE YOU COLLECTED UNDER THE TABLE TOO.

    MEIN WE NEED TO PUT THESE PEOPLE WHO GIVE OUT OUR NATIONAL PATRIMONY FROM TOP TO BOTTOM, SOOOO LETS START WITH ALVEINE BURGESS, ELVIN PENNER AND EDMUND CASTRO!!!!

    AND THE NEXT THING ALVERINE, SOMETIMES I WONDER IF YOU NEVA IN LOVE WITH EDMUND IN YOUR YOUNG DAYS AND HE REJECTED YOU AFTER YOU KNOW WHAT!!!
    SO YOU MUSY SAY ( REVENGE TIME)
    HMMMMM SO FUNNY!!! YOU SOUNDED REVENGFUL WHEN YOU WERE ON TV WITH YOUR OLD FROCK!!!!!!!
    TRYING TO PLAY POOR LADY!!!!

  14. Rod says:

    You are my new hero alvarine you should be given a medal the new and only belizean hero .

  15. Rob says:

    Why are ppl from the US Embassy questioning this woman? Since when did they have jurisdiction to investigate crimes that happen in Belize? and why did she feel compelled to go to the US Embassy for them to interrogate her? that lady is withholding information, if your gonna get on tv to spill your guts then tell the whole truth and not half the truth. What the US embassy should of done in this case is summon someone from the Belize police dept or the minister of national security John Saldivar show him the overwhelming evidence that they have and compel him to investigate and bring charges against Castro and Penner and if they dont want to then revoke all their US Visas, every single minister. But last time I checked Belize is a sovereign nation, I really have a problem with the US Embassy spying on us and recording our conversations. I guess Edward Snowden wasn’t lying, America is spying and recording conversations of every government official from every country.

  16. Belizean says:

    Rob got it right!

  17. Concern says:

    We asked Government to investigate Penner and they pretended to, but we knew all along that they weren’t going to do anything about it. Even the police refused to do anything, and as far as we can see nothing will ever be done. Similarly, nothing will be done to solve the rose wood scandal, the Namul scandal, the 13 babies scandal, the land scandal, the passport scandal, and now the visa scandal. We are suppose to just sweep all these corruption under the rug and forget them. If our government won’t honor our request, to investigate these scandals, which incidentally, also include vehicle parts scandal, and gas scandal, then… if we have to get outside help to clean up this mess, why not?

    Yes, we are a sovereign country, but giving visa to criminals put other countries at risk, so why wouldn’t the USA need to keep an eye on what we are doing to jeopardize not only their lives, but ours as well. We have two choices, allow corruption among ministers to continue uncheck, or do what ever it takes to bring this corruption to an end.

    Mrs. Alverine Burgess deserve our utmost respect and support, as long as we as a people want to be lead by honest politicians. Castro can fight his own battle as a minister, and the onus is on him to show us what kind of person he truly is. He doesn’t need anyone to defend him. Let him use the court to clear his name and prove to the world that he is not a corrupt politician. God know we need good honest politician to lead us. Every day thousand of Belizeans don’t know what food they will put on their table from day to day, or even if they will have anything to eat, while all these corruptions involving millions of dollars are taking place.

  18. Beano is almost back! says:

    “America is spying and recording conversations of every government official from every country.”

    probably more like, they have a good shot at it, they only has so many people and so many computers. They are probably looking to figure out the evil, from the criminal, and the innocent people that the US government is dealing with.

    @Rob, this is just like UDP is doing regularly to Belizeans and mostly toward the PUP. The US just has more money to afford the people and equipment.

    Don’t you recall the UDP scandal when UDP representatives started quoting opposition emails. That was when anyone with an email address got out of Belize mailservers, or at least encrypt everything. NSA maybe able to decrypt, but GOB cannot.

    One reason the puppies don’t bark much these days, UDP is ready to swoop into their plans. Why do you think all the phones in Belize must be registered with the government? Having an unregistered phone or somebody else’s is technically a crime.

    @Rob as for the rest of your musings, try thinking about it a few more times. Short answer on your first question: she does not trust ANYONE in GOB, works for me. Same for Snowden in Russia. Keep thinking Rod, you got the answers, but if you think the current administration is good, it means you are a fool or work for UDP.

  19. sam says:

    what the USA is doing is protecting there interest, and so the helpless people in Belize like my self
    I have no problem with what they are doing, A GRAND JURY will look into it and I hope that they arrest all involved in this hideous crime against my passport, my identity, my Belize, our home. our do we want our passport to be a big joke?
    we know that PUP and UDP do it is time to stop it,before it is too late, I hope that the US Gov. offer this lady protection, as we know that UDP will not stop until she is gone, after all McAfee was saying the truth. but well we all know that.

  20. MOSES x says:

    There is another name for a whistle bloooower but I wont go there

    For the last time, I’m expressing myopinion on this issue. Every politician, blue and red hustle while in power. You can’t get anything done in Belize, from lands to visa without someone hustling you. It should not come as any surprise to all of you. My family and many of my relatives are poor. We depend on our elected representative for a handout. Check the lines to the ministers’ office on handout day. Roof di leak, mi baby sick, mi house bun down, no food and on and on and on. I don’t want to be redundant but rahs, unu head hawd. Visas are free. Castro expedite the process and get paid to give money to we poor people, You all who di complain belly full.

    What pisses me off more is running to the KKK US consulate to rat people out. Dis da fu wee business fi tek care of. Imagine the Belize consulate in the states investigating corruption by US senators, and there are many from pedophiles to the mafia. Rahws. Some ah unu fool fool, bad, especially Rod hee and CEO.

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