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Sep 7, 2023

Immigration Department Takes Measures to Discourage the Forging of Stamp

Eamon Courtenay

In August, thirteen Brazilian nationals were apprehended in the Cayo District with false Belize immigration stamps in their passports. They were escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station and were required to present their travel documents. And when they did so, the stamp that was used to authenticate their entry was clearly fake. It is becoming commonplace among some Central American migrants attempting to reach the U.S. via Mexico, seeking asylum, and the Minister of Immigration, Eamon Courtenay says there are a couple theories as to where the fake stamp originated, but that the Immigration Department will remove that particular stamp number out of circulation and take other security measures to discourage this kind of illegal activity.


Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Immigration

“I will admit that in addition to Brazilians, we have also seen others with those fake stamps. We have tried to identify where that stamp originated. There is one school of thought that it is in Guatemala. Somebody’s in Guatemala with the fake stamp. There is another view that it is now somebody in Belize. We have taken certain measures to, first of all, take that stamp out of circulation that number – that particular number, and other measures to try to heighten the security level to ensure that, as best as we can, no fake stamp is used. But that’s an issue that is under very close review.”



“Did you pay attention at all to the allegations made in the supposed Borja testimony that passports were also being fabricated, and he thought that, listen, this thing looked really fake, you could tell, so he wouldn’t get involved in that.”


Eamon Courtenay

“I didn’t listen to all of his recording. I couldn’t understand a lot of what he was saying. It seemed quite incoherent. But from other sources, what I have been told is that the passports that he was referring to were fake, non-Belizean passports: dead Americans, dead British people – passports for foreigners. It was foreign sales of land sales that they would present fake passports for. That’s what I was being told from a different source. I have not heard that they’re talking about fake Belizean passports.”



“So then for such a case, would you say there’s been collaboration with the Belize government and those governments to look into that?”


Eamon Courtenay

“Well, as you know, there is quite an extensive investigation underway, and, yes, we have been speaking to security and InterPol from other countries to understand whether or not the passports are indeed fake. I’m told again, I haven’t seen them, but some of them are obviously fake. And, we have, you know, get on top of what is happening there.”


As for the seven Mexicans who were detained last month near a police checkpoint on the suspicion that they were dispatched to Belize to assassinate a Belizean drug lord, that has proven to be false, according to Courtenay. He says that following a police and immigration investigation, the Immigration Department is satisfied that the reports in the media were incorrect. But while the men are not related to any of the Mexican cartels, they were working in the country illegally. They have since been deported, Courtenay says.

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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