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Dec 17, 2013

Investigation into Nationality Scam

Rafic Labboun

In September 2012, there was an upheaval in the Immigration Department after it was discovered that a Lebanese-American, allegedly with ties to Hezbollah, received a Belizean passport in two days. Rafic Labboun used the identity of Wilhelm Dyck, a Mennonite newborn who died decades before. Labboun somehow managed to procure a birth certificate in Dyck’s name and used that to obtain a driver’s license from Belmopan, and then his Belizean passport – all in two days. That situation was proof positive that because of rampant corruption in the Immigration Department, Belizean documents could be had with the greatest of ease. That was over a year ago, and was the first real scandal uncovered during the term of new Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse. He promised a shake-up and comprehensive review to close all doors to irregularities. But corruption seems to have gone largely unchecked in the Ministry. Following in the wake of the Penner passport scandal, nationality free for all and a Belizean visa garage-sale, there is now the curious case of Rafael Vasquez-Medina. Similar to Rafic Labboun last year, the Salvadoran received Belizean identity through false documents. And just like Labboun, the process was expedited by officials in the Immigration Department. Vasquez-Medina’s file has been in the hands of the Police Department and allegedly on the desk of Immigration Director Maria Marin since December fifth. There has been no official comment from Marin despite multiple queries from News Five. Today, the Police led us on a merry chase for information.

Godwin Hulse

We were told that police would provide the information since nine-thirty this morning. At five this evening, Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez said he still had not received any details from CIB who then stopped taking our calls. The nationality scam which saw Salvadoran national Rafael Vasquez Medina receiving his Belizean nationality certificate without due processing or vetting broke last week. But it has been known to the Police Department and Immigration officials since December fifth, when Vasquez-Medina was arrested for having in his possession a forged document, his nationality certificate. That document was allegedly processed in one day, and sources in the Immigration Department claim that it did not go through proper vetting.

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3 Responses for “Investigation into Nationality Scam”

  1. Ali Babarrow luvs Beano with his Deano says:

    “corruption seems to have gone largely unchecked in the Ministry.”
    correction: in the Government of Belize.

    What do you expect? Ali Babarrow is running this insane mess.
    A boy with a pig and a radio. Little Hulse can work on the crowd, put ‘em into a trance for the little pig. Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money. Watch him or he’ll rob you blind

    What Belizean in their right mind would think this pig of corruption is going to clean house?
    Hulse is unelected and useless.

    It is called white collar government sponsored three card monty, led by a conspiracy of 41 thieves.

    And there is not one patriot Belizean to stand up and take this government down.

    Don’t worry, it can only get worse with these criminals running the country.

  2. cd says:

    Hezzbola connected means the money to pay for credentials is terrorist money gone to corrupt officials. They (terrorists) have opened a door here.

  3. Concern says:

    These stories should never ever go away, otherwise corruption will be the end of us. We either get responses to our questions, and have the people concerned dealt with, and not have the wool pull over eyes, by people who think all Belizeans are stupid idiots. Government have been doing everything in it’s power to silence us or keep silent, in the hope the this humungous corruption will blow over. As concern citizens, we cannot let it die! Bad things only prevail when good people refuse to stand up for what is good and righteous!

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