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Sep 13, 2012

Immigration Officer, person of interest in Hezbollah passport case

Within three days a suspected terrorist with alleged ties to the radical group Hezbollah was able to secure a Belizean identity. Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun arrived in the country on August twenty-ninth and when he left, he had a Belizean birth certificate, a driver’s license and a passport all issued in the name of Wilhelm Dyck, a Belizean Mennonite of Shipyard who was born in February of 1976 and died two months later. The Police Department is investigating offices that the American national visited during his trip and has requested copies of all relevant documents and applications that were filed during his visit. The Justice of the Peace who issued her stamp on his documents has been identified as seventy two year old Juliana Arana, whose home was torched in an arson on Saturday morning. Arana told News Five that she does not wish to speak about the case. The other person questioned by police is Gilroy Guzman, the acting Supervisor in charge of the Belize City branch of the Immigration Department who is not to be mistaken for Horace Guzman, as first reported.  Guzman gave a statement to the Criminal Investigations Branch while in the presence of his attorney. He told them that Allaboun showed him a copy of a Social Security Card and that was the identification used to process the passport in Dyck’s name. However, he did not make a copy of the ID, and there is none in the records. As a matter of fact the application for the passport has not been found either. As far as the investigation goes, the Police Department has deemed Guzman a person of interest. The office of the D.P.P. is also reviewing this case on whether charges will be brought against him. The Belmopan City Council has confirmed that a license was issued to Allaboun since he used his Belizean passport to show his identity. But the employee who processed the driver’s license is still being questioned because the twelve thousand series of numbers used on his ID is not yet being used in the country. According to the Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of National Security, in the early stage of the investigation, a senior officer took one look at Allaboun’s photo and determined him to be of Lebanese descent. Allaboun became a naturalized American after he moved from Beirut, Lebanon in 1986. The investigation is trying to determine whether or not there was collusion in any of the government offices that he visited during his brief visit in Belize. That investigation, according to the Ministry, also includes a thorough check into the background of Yasser Safa, Samer Safa and George Abdalah Elders. The Safa name has surfaced in numerous times in police reports.


Jose Sanchez

“Mister Safa said Arabs help Arabs. He is a Lebanese and someone called him saying there is another Lebanese who needs help and supposedly a Belizean. Regarding the Safa’s involvement—Mister Safa, his wife, children, his brother Samer and also you have Mister George Elters. Are there any real tangible connections? What is their investigation about?”


Delroy Cuthkelvin

Delroy Cuthkelvin, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of National Security

“Well in terms of our investigations here in Belize, as I said, our main focus is on this particular individual who was carrying a fake Belize passport, carrying a Belize birth certificate and a driver’s license—all in the name of Wilhelm Dyck. And of course the other persons whose names have been called as persons who were also picked up along with him in Mexico, an entire, thorough background check is also being done of all these persons. They are a couple of persons who are known to Belizean authorities or persons who have resided in fact who are even naturalized citizens and their names do appear in the files of the police department in various instances in the past being investigated for certain offences.”


Jose Sanchez

“But nothing of this magnitude of terrorism?”


Delroy Cuthkelvin

“I guess we could put it that way, but a thorough background check is being done on all these persons to see what—if any—is the connection between  them and the individual in question and whether in fact they were any part of any process to facilitate his obtaining the documents in question. As I said, all of that needs to be established—nothing can be concluded until a full investigation is carried out. What we can also tell you is that where the driver’s license is concerned, our police authorities visited the authorities in Belmopan which were purported to have issued the driver’s license to this person in the name of Wilhelm Dyck. One of the things they found out was that each driver’s license carries a series of numbers on the back of the driver’s license and in the case of this person; their driver’s license carried a number that was in the twelve thousand series. And the authorities that issue licenses in Belmopan were able to confirm to us that they have not arrived at that series yet—they are still in the eleven thousand series.”


Jose Sanchez

“So it didn’t come from them?”


Delroy Cuthkelvin

“We are still trying to establish whether in fact it did and as to whether there is any collusion at all between members of the personnel at that office; we can’t say for sure. Also, the ID number, the driver’s ID number, it was established that that number is a number which belongs to another person who had been issued a driver’s license in the past, who is a resident of Belmopan. And so the police are also trying to find and interview that person. It doesn’t follow necessarily that that knows anything at all about it, but his ID number was used though and so the police are leaving no stones unturned. And so we want to find him as well and interview him about that. If there are any weaknesses in the system—as already seem to be suggested by certain aspects of the investigation—then it will have to be looked at as to how the system can be improved. One of the thing for example that the police authorities have been able to establish is that the filing system seems to be much to be desired in terms of the Vital Statistics Office where when a person makes an application for a copy of a birth certificate; the police have been told that they don’t file those applications in any particular order—by day, by month, by week—and they are just put in a room all together. And so that is one of the reasons they are claiming they have been having difficulty retrieving the actual physical application for the copy of the birth certificate. In terms of the passport office, again they have said that they don’t normally photocopy the birth certificate and keep that as part of the actual files in the computers. Again that will have to be looked at as to whether that is a weakness in the system. So clearly, as I said, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but the police authorities are leaving no stones unturned. So even as they are trying to determine whether there is any wrongdoing on the part of anyone, they are also trying to establish whether there are weaknesses in the system and make recommendations as to how those processes can be improved.”


Up to press time, the United States Embassy in Belmopan has made no comment on the case. Allabboun, according to press reports, was deported to US immediately after Saturday’s raid in Merida during which he produced the Belize passport. Shoddy paperwork is also at the center of the investigation into the Safa brothers’ status in Mexico. Samer Safa who is still detained by Mexican authorities will be deported to Belize because his documents are conflicting. On one form he lists himself as a tourist, and on another form he refers to his residency card in Mexico. Mexican authorities also intend to pick up Yasser Safa to examine his documents and if they are not in order, he will also face deportation. The police department intends to interview the Safa’s as soon as they have been repatriated to Belize.

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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25 Responses for “Immigration Officer, person of interest in Hezbollah passport case”

  1. Earl Grey says:


  2. I don't want to Belize it says:

    Mello, Allaboun, child molesting killers, the list keeps growing.
    Late night landings at the airport. New bigger murder rate.
    Fake visas, fake passports, fake driver licenses.
    Guns being stolen from a BDF armory.
    Govt officials helping coke landings in Toledo.
    Seems like stories get bigger and then disappear.
    Nobody to jail, nobody shot for treason.
    Is Belize still a country or just a magnet for criminals?

  3. Rod says:

    What is this guy talking about his he a total idiot. How can he say that they will have to see if somebody did something wrong is he joking maybe he got paid for doing this who will investigate him I hope the FBI and CIA investigate s this first it was perdomo now we have the brother of a drug king pin in charge of national security this corrupt pm and gov. Are so corrupt that they can’t even trust each other everybody in this gov. The thief people should be put in jail for treason and the head of national security should be fired for incompetence but it won’t happen because we have the most corrupt and incompetent pm in the history of this country and he still has his job their is no help for Belize we are sunk then we have belizeans who only want to march for stupidness instead of marching for their future and the future of their children sad sad sad.

  4. Louisville,Ky says:

    Shame and Scandal?………… Scandal yes, shame, no…..none at all. This is what the once proud Jewel has become. Shameful in our greed for money and material things. Corrupt to the core so much so that nearly ALL of our public officials are on the take, in one form or the other.
    There are those in this forum that will point fingers at the Politicians, forgetting that this entire way of life got started when first you accepted the bribes in exchange for your votes at election time. So don’t do a Pontius Pilate on me now, you are all responsible and guilty of what the country has become. CROOKED!!

  5. WOW says:

    Now you know why Belizeans are having a hard time getting visa’s to visit the U.S., it is because of events like this that make it a threat and everyone in the country will suffer for it….what a shame on the people who were bought to make this happen. Look at yourself traitors. The worst thing is that we from the U.S. can visit Belize and we are scrutinized when we apply for a passport. When you look at this person who got a passport within 24 hours…money is called GREED…THESE PEOPLES POCKETS WERE LINED VERY WELL. I hope you feel good about yourself. This also threatens Americans because Belize is so close to the U.S. this threatens our national security.

  6. truth says:

    Can you all see, they are NOT NORMAL BELIZEANS. That is why they get special treatment. lol

  7. WOW says:

    How stupid can the passport office supervisor can be…why would you choose a number that is not even in circulation….so STUPID. As a public officer…did you get any kind of training…ALL BELIZEAN EMPLOYEES NEEDS ETHIC TRAINING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Come on Prime Minister Barrow…find a company who would draft an ethics booklet for the government employees and have each an everyone of them sign..this will enable the employer to terminate and sue the employee for any misconduct. This would slowly eliminate corruption.

  8. Ex Al says:

    Can’t Believe a bunch of adults can b so full of $#!%! Wow you an @$$hole. Every country have their criminals. Guess where you all come from is total euphoria? Or a figment of you all’s imaginations? The. Country with out sin cast d first stone. FYI we don’t need you to Belize it because we already have enuff @$$holes and criminals here. Don’t need any extras

  9. Harvest says:

    FYI Ex Al, those comments dont come from no imaginations, it is reality. There are many things happening in Belize that clearly show that Belize has become an infestation of criminals and criminal activities beyond epic proportions. Ppl like you accept how things are going in Belize because you are not directly affected. Stop being a hypocrite that only curse others on your computer. Of course every country has criminals, duh! But crimes in Belize also include illegal activities in Belize’s public sector and institutions. When this level of corruption invades Belize’s offices it makes crime even more prevalent. Peace out..

  10. Harvest says:

    FYI Ex Al you are the only here full of excrement. We all know that every country has it criminals, but for the size of Belize the crimes here are of epic proportions and it is causing an uproar with the international community. Belize has become a magnet for all types of criminals because they know that Belize has weak and corrupt institutions that they can take advantage of. If they want a NEW IDENTITY with birth paper, passport, driver license and the full works come to Belize. The institutions and public offices are ready to receive and then serve. So please dont be a hypocrite and be cursing others because you may not be directly affected by all this. Belize will never go forward with this level of corruption and with ppl that accept the problems plaguing the country. This includes you Ex Al. If this is not fixed expect some Talibans soon, or some African guerrillas, or Salvadoran salvatruchas high level gang members soon in Belize calling themselves Belizeans. Peace Out…

  11. Belizean Pride says:

    becuase of this idiot officers doing things like these, it now can affect any of us Belizeans trying to apply a visa, the U.S embassy might be more strict in giving visa they might scrutinize for our passports for the tendency of identity theft and fake ones.
    Let the Immigration officer, the one on the vital statistics and the social security all be charged for doing things like these. we can’t say it was a mistake since from looking at the guy he has no chance of looking like a mennonite worst the place of birth, damn!!! these people who work these things are real idiots wish to say more explicit words but it really makes you angry.

  12. Vuk says:

    I think this case clearly demonstrates why the issue of Belizean citizenship needs to be properly and urgently addressed by the current administration.

    If it’s not, not only will Belize continue to suffer from the most obvious results of not having a proper citizenship policy, it would also have to possibly suffer from a global perception that the weakness of the rule of law within its boundaries prohibits proper diplomatic relations with other countries (due to ability of individuals like this to take advantage of this situation) and a satisfactory level of foreign investment, which, in turn, will only further restrict the ability of the Belizean economy to develop.

  13. belizea says:

    Reality check….save trying to decide if there was collusion with corrupt govt officials. instead, start looking for the guilty corrupt government workers and start bring some charges. Clean up Vital Statistics, Passport Office and the City Council office in Belmopan. Get, set….go. we’re watching and waiting, me done seh!

  14. OWtoBoston says:

    This enrages me to no end. I just underwent months and months of back and forth with the Immigration Department to get a simple passport renewal. I do not know why it would take 5 months to get a new passport to a citizen when these people can just pay more and get it the next day. This is absolute insanity! The country’s systems are broken. Corruption is festering through all branches of government. These people just come and do as they please knowing that anyone will take a bribe. If we don’t change this behavior, it will keep happening.

  15. Bear says:

    It seems our whole country is for sale with this government. Gapi’s pinata of land for his special family members, new identifications for Muslim terrorists, you can get ANYTHING you want if you are willing to pay the price.

    What a great job you are doing, Mr. Barrow!

  16. Al says:

    This is very upsetting, the Belizeans people are denied or have to go through so much to get passports or legal papers, but then we have foreigners who can be in the country 3 days and walla, you get passport and any other document you want.

    Belize can become the launching ground for an terrorist attack against American Embassies in Central and South America. For a few dollars, these people in positions could become a party to innocent people dying. When did corruption become the mode of operation. The reason these people keep doing what they do is becasue there are no consequencies. If they were put in jail, they would think first.

    In the face of all this corruption and garbage, the PM is out of the country, what a travesty of leadership. The immigration office needs a total overhaul and proper procedures put in place and anyone who fails to follow protocal terminated immediately.

    I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Masters in Leadership, I would volunteer my services to help get procedures developed and put in place, no charge to the country, just the opportunity to turn my country back the great place it was and can be again.

  17. angel Stevens says:

    Money talks a bull s..t walks ,thats all.

  18. angel says:

    Money talks ,and bull s..t walks …..all about dahllas.

  19. His Exelency, Honorable, King, The Best, His Holines, The Greatest, Lord, Master of All, almost better than God, Master of Belize, Superman and most Powerful GAPI says:

    I am not an ordinary man ! ! !

  20. Bear says:

    Al for PM!

    We need him and many more like him, with knowledge and love of the country greater than love of the dollar.

  21. Mary says:

    Goverment need to get their act togther, transfer or dismiss some of thess public officer who are making everyone looks bad. if their salary is not enough, go find a next job. PUBLIC OFFICER ARE TOO CORRUPT.

  22. Rough says:


  23. hold up says:

    how many times will you sing the National anthem this month,” Land of the free, tranquil haven of democracy, despots must flee” WE NEED A NEW ANTHEM, all of this is not true today. we are a magnet for despots, we are anything but a tranquil haven, ask the residents of mayflower street if they feel tranquility at night.
    I beleive Crazy Glue, our ship is heading for the reef, save youselves!!!

  24. politrician says:

    who was the Prime Minister when these terrorists became Belizeans or came to Belize? I’,m just saying there is enough corrpution… blame all the politicians for not changing.

  25. Hatari says:

    And every day we see these worthless bureaucrats and politicians driving around in their fancy dark tinted glass tax payer paid for SUV’s. This is sickening! And oh yeah, thought there was a law about dark tinted windshields!

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