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Jul 8, 2020

Senate Report on Immigration Investigation Almost Completed

It’s been years now that the immigration scandal implicating several U.D.P. ministers, including the infamous Elvin Penner, came to light. Penner is the former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality who is accused of selling visas and facilitating the issuance of a Belizean passport for South Korean fugitive, Wong Hong Kim, who was in jail. The Auditor General’s Special Audit on Nationality, Immigration, and Nationality for 2011 to 2013 revealed serious irregularities and named ministers such as Edmund Castro, Gaspar Vega, John Saldivar, Eden Martinez, Rene Montero, Erwin Contreras, and Manuel Heredia Junior.  The explosive regulations led to a full senate inquiry, which lasted a little over a year. Two years after the committee concluded its inquiry, a final draft is finally being reviewed.  Senator Elena Smith has a copy and says that several recommendations are being made. 

 

Senator Elena Smith, Member, Senate Select Committee

“I can tell you that we are at the tail end of it now based on the documents that we have received and so it is just for us as senators to give our final comments on the updated version of the report and the chairman would be able to then if it is that we accept that that would be the report that would be presented. I am assuming that we would have a meeting of the committee to have some discussion on that and we will determine a date as to when it will be presentws. So sometime pretty soon. I don’t expect to go maybe beyond a month or so from now.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“I am not sure if you are able to disclose details of this latest draft but are you so far satisfied?”

 

Elena Smith

Senator Elena Smith

“I am providing my input in terms of say the recommendations and I am going to be added areas that I think we should include or amendments to maybe some areas that were included that maybe I feel that needs to be more stiffer if you would and so those are what I will be submitting to the chair from my end.”

 

 

Hipolito Novelo

“What are the possibilities of any criminal actions carried out against any individuals named in that report, because that is what the public is expecting?”

 

Senator Elena Smith

“Remember that at the end of the day the committee does not have that power.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“In terms of recommendation.”

 

Senator Elena Smith

“Right, so we can only recommend that the various bodies responsible due their investigation and from there then determine what penalties if you will should be impose on those persons.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“I am asking if the public could expect that some sort or that type of recommendation can be expected in the final report.”

 

Senator Elena Smith

“I am sure the public would expect that that would be there.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“But would it be?”

 

Senator Elena Smith     

“It is left to be seen whether that is going to be include in the report.”


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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