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Sep 19, 2012

Before, during and after Hezbollah, Belizean visas abused?

Three days, August twenty-ninth to September first, is all it took for an alleged associate of the terrorist organization Hezbollah to obtain a Belizean birth certificate, a driver’s license and a passport.  Raffic Labboun’s brief encounter with Belize is only one example of individuals who either get fraudulent passports or visas to Belize. While Labboun was trying to hide his identity from the U.S., others have tried to reach the United States by any means necessary. News Five has uncovered a startling trend concerning the owner of small stores in Belmopan and in Cayo. According to sources, the store owner sponsors the travel of a dozen or so Middle Eastern nationals to Belize every month at a cost of four to five thousand dollars per person. The nationals arrive in Belize but  normally disappear over the western border of Guatemala where other fraudulent arrangements are made for them to travel to Mexico. There they link with other members of a network that assist them in reaching the U.S. There are others and on August sixth, Nepalese nationals twenty-nine year old Shyam Bahadur Kandel, thirty year old Anil Kc and twenty-two year old Suman Kandel indicated that their intended address in Belize was Bismillah Store in Cayo. Then on August ninth, Nepalese nationals thirty-eight year old Chandru Bahadur Gharti Chetry and forty year old Jham Bahadur Khatri also arrived in Belize and listed their final destination as Bismillah Store. Just a few days later on August twelfth, Indian nationals, nineteen year old Vivek Kumar Dipakbhai Prajapati, and twenty year old Vijay Kumar Ranchhodbhai Patel came to Belize also heading to Bismillah Store. At the time that the country became aware that a Hezbollah operator had a Belizean passport, the unusual number of visitors to the small Cayo store also grew as a flight from Central America brought in more nationals. On September sixth, Nepalese nationals twenty-four year Tikaram Kandel, twenty-five year old Yam Bahadur Kunwar, thirty-two year old Tak Ram Gurung, and twenty-five year old Shree Ram Sapkota, all arrived on TACA flight 414 from San Salvador, again Bismillah Store was their address. The man who picked them up at the airport has been identified as Kashif Raza Ali Jaffery, a naturalized Belizean from Pakistan. Ali Jaffery who lives on the Benque Viejo Road, San Ignacio stated on the Immigration Declaration Forms that he was at the airport as a representative of his uncle Khalid Mahmood.  Mahmood, also a naturalized Belizean from Pakistan, is the owner of the Bismillah stores. In the section labeled ‘purpose of visit’, they declared that they were on a business trip to Belize, sponsored by Mahmood and they were all staying at the Belmoral Hotel in San Ignacio. Seven days later on September thirteenth at three-thirty p.m., Nepalese Nationals thirty-three year old Bijay Ghale and thirty year old Raj Kumar Gurung arrived at the PGIA. Their intended destination was also Bismillah Store. News Five has handed over the passport numbers and visa numbers to the relevant authorities as well as journalists in Nepal, India and Pakistan. It is important for an investigation to verify whether or not the same Immigration officer or officers in Belize issued visas to the Bismillah friends, and what business transactions if any, occurred in the country. News Five spoke to the Prime Minister regarding the issues of visas when he arrived at the PGIA this afternoon.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well, you have the advantage over me; I haven’t seen that. I don’t dispute what you’re saying, but I simply don’t know so it’s impossible for me to comment. What I will say is that I spoke to Minister Hulse yesterday from Houston. He was in a full scale meeting with the key people in the ministry, the head of the department, the minister of state and in fact they were agreeing on a number of new procedures so that that ministry and that minister and that minister of state can get on top of this situation once and for all. Well, I say once and for all, that may be a little bit of wishful thinking because you’re dealing with a minister—two ministers actually—you’re dealing with a head of department, you’re dealing with all the officers, you’re dealing with people from abroad; the British Embassy helps us in China, you’re dealing with other embassies elsewhere with respect to certainly the visa application process and the visa approval process. But I have every confidence that Godwin Hulse will come up with the sorts of structures that will pretty much shut the door on any irregularities that have occurred.”


The alleged businessmen travelled to Dubai, then to Chile in South America then onto Salvador followed by Belize. The tickets cost in excess of three thousand five hundred U.S. each for a one way flight 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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21 Responses for “Before, during and after Hezbollah, Belizean visas abused?”

  1. Rod says:

    Damm does his man know anything it’s like he is living in another world the country is filling up with terrorist and he knows nothing and I’ve no solutions plus the most important question which is why is their so much corruption and who I’ll o to jail for treason this man is out to lunch people he should resign ………… ou need to tell him that people are demanding his resignation for incompetence so while he spends half the year in Miami and Houston his cronies are doing as they please resign barrow just resign you are truly looking like a fool these days I think you the smoke to much a tha thing.

  2. Hatari says:

    This is ridiculous! Just another blatant example of how our politicians are failing miserably to run our government. Wide open corruption and then the documents are “lost” and the police screw up the investigation and the case (if one ever gets filed) is dismissed and the politician, smugglers and lawyers laugh all the way to the bank. Belize is truly living up to the reputation of a third world banana republic. When will we ever learn?

  3. Rod says:

    Well its obvious whose fault this is……… the opposition. Selling out the country for 30 pieces of silver, yah mr PUP talk about that. UDP fi life.

  4. Al says:

    I am still in shock, this Prime Minister is saying that he is unaware of what is going on in the country that he was elected to be the leader of. My goodness, Belize could be wiped off the face of the earth and he would be clueless to what is going on. If I were the PM, all these ministers would have to give me some answers as to what the h$$$ is going on with these passports.

    Are the people at the airport so clueless that they are not seeing how many people are entering the country and headed to one specific destiantion. How about reporting it to somebody. Excuse me there has to be somebody in charge first. As a Belizean when I enter the country they talk to me like I am a nonpersonke they penalize you for having been in America, they search my bag like I am a criminal, but the middle easterners and Arabas are waved in.

    On my church missions to Nigeria, I am impressed with the security system that is in place. The security system begins from the time I apply for a visa to enter the country. The Nigerian embassy in Washington does a thorough background check before they even issue a visa.

    I would think that after the last passport problem a few years ago, there would have been tighter controls put in place. It would be very interesting to see what the clueless, brainless ministers will come up with. Bet they will keep the same people in positions to do the same garbage again and again.

  5. Belizean Pride says:

    “Well, you have the advantage over me; I haven’t seen that. I don’t dispute what you’re saying, but I simply don’t know so it’s impossible for me to comment.

    exactly the words of the usual barrow that knows nothing of what’s going on this country but can tell you about Miami what’s going on there. since when has he step up to make a press release on the urgent issues that are affecting our country and to talk about how his gov. plans to asses this things that are causing a black eye on our jewel.
    this is pure bull SHHHHH barrow every single low class Belizean knows what’s going on and you as the top person who has the top view of the jewel knows nothing what’s going on. The answer is simply because YOU DON’T WALK DOWN TO LEVEL OF US THE POOR BELIZEANS, THAT’S WHY YOU DON’T KNOW. ALL YOU KNOW IS THE LEVEL OF THE SO CALLED HARD WORKING PEOPLE LIKE GAPI. but we the low class who work like slave to survive know everything. get your self some respect barrow I can’t tell you be like Rt. Hon. G. Price because you’ll never be but at least try.

  6. nigel says:

    “Well, you have the advantage over me; I haven’t seen that. I don’t dispute what you’re saying, but I simply don’t know so it’s impossible for me to comment”. So what you are saying Mr. Prime Minister is that the affairs of our country and yours is not of great importance to you or is it that you are trying to distance yourself by pleading ignorance to the matter. Isn’t it a little coincidental/ironic that when the original story broke about the Hezbollah cell you had to be out of the country granted that your wife is ill but your trip sir was ill timed? I would have understood if she was in medical distress but this is not the case. Had you been a competent leader you would have differed your trip until such time that you could provide the people of this country with a better answer other than one that amounts to I don’t know or is it that you know something that the people shouldn’t. If you want to prostitute Belize sir it is just fair that the people profit from it as well so I am proposing that you have them pay for this service with checks made out to the Government of Belize so that the people of this great nation can have the yolk of burden taken off our shoulders and our children children’s shoulder. Remember all this mess was the work of you and your predecessors. Maybe there is a method to your madness for when you think about it a people without needs (i.e. hand outs around election time and other wise) have no real need for a government; keep the people begging and you keep them in your pockets. Just as the old Chinese proverb goes “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”: Talking about the Chinese hjey channel 5 when are you all going to do one on the Chinese that takes much the same route as these terrorist cells?

  7. jungle says:

    I agree with you belizean, the PM is backing off of things that is happening with his ministers, and himself saying he do not know, what a shame on you pm, we don’t want to hear about yur wife and you in Houston, we want to hear from you, what are you going to do your ministers that are curroped, we as belizeans need some answers, you fail to remember that we the people of this country voted for you bunch of failers to run our country,

  8. joea says:

    Who seh selling clothes mek money??????????????????

  9. Eda says:

    Give the man a break! I think he was referring to the outcome of the investigation of the media. About all these people coming in and staying at that store in Cayo. remember that he was just coming back from Houston. The media met him at the airport.
    Not everything is to be blamed on the Government whether the are red or blue. We as citizens who love our country have to unite and take our country back.
    Crimes = Witnesses should be protected . (THE media is disrespectful of people’s privacy sometimes.)
    They want to get the story out and in the process leak out information that endangers the lives of these witnesses.
    Government officers should be screened, relocated, etc often so that they do not develop (roots) get comfortable. That is the minister’s duty. Seems like they onl get involved when things get blown out of proportion. (RED & BLUE)
    DESIGNATED Bus Stops should be set up one in each village. That would help with security. Not even in the UNITE D STATES one could wave the bus down.
    WE all have to open our eyes people and look out for each others.
    TAxi drivers you all have cell phones. Secretly take pics of your customers and send to a fellow driver or family. This wud help with investigations. Let someone see who you are taking and let them know where you are going.

  10. Nimbo says:

    in this time and age..if interested in the affairs of the country – he could be better informed-SORRY NO XCUSE PM! The fact is, your interest lies elsewhere and you are not fit for the job- this is becoming more clearer to all of us if not you. You are just making a fool of yourself and we Belizeans are bigger fools to keep tolerating such a person to be the leader of the country.

  11. A Jew says:

    I dont agree with you at all Eda. In this type of situation its not a good idea to be defending. The media has to do the work then how else will we Belizeans not get all the facts. I know you are saying for us to stop pointing fingers, but what else can we do? Nobody, absolutely nobody has been charged yet! We all know that its the high people in goverment are behind this madness, because they must approve the visas, passports, and the go ahead. Belize is a country that help criminal, terrorists, etc etc to get into the US illegally and the thing is that local businessmen are running this business. So please dont preach, everything has now hit the fan.

    As for the P.M ashame of you, you better than anyone else should be on top of these national matters that also threathen our NATIONAL SECURITY. Your right Nigel, what about the Chinese that also do such practices. Now on a daily basis Belize is been labeled as hard pay, corrupt, drug connection point, and now also a hub for Terrorists, warlords, mafias, and scam artist. Our institutions are at the base of all the corruption, but in reality the ones in charge are the ones facilitating such great corruption.

  12. BMNJ says:

    All in the name of corruption and the almighty $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  13. Al says:

    Eda, excuse me, but let me educate you, it does not matter if the Prime Minister was in HELL, it is the responsibility of whomever is in charge during his absence to brief him immediately on issues that is a threat to international security and to the country of Belize.

    This terriorist cell that has grassroots in the country is a high security problem and one that should not be put on the back shelf until the PM got back in the country, he should have been called back immediately. The passport issue is a high priority of course, but terrorism is a serious issue that demands immediate attention.

    The Hezbola cell could test out chemical warfare on the people of Belize, has anyone thought about that. It is not only the target country that is at risk, the host country is also at risk. These peolpe dont care about each other, why would they care about Belizeans.Just listen to the news how they kill each other daily, these people are full of hate.

    Take note what the President of anyother country does when a national issue arises, they RETURN HOME. If the PM is truly clueless to what is going on, then heads should roll for not briefing him on the issues. If I were in charge and had infact briefed him and he is acting ignorant like he is clueless on the issue, I would go to the airwaves a let it be known that he was briefed. These politicians are clueless, have no idea on how to govern. I am pleading to the PM to send out an invitaion to American Belizeans to return even temporarily to help get these government offeice in shape. There are many retired folks like myself who I am sure would be available to assist. Oh but excuse I remember that there are some people are against allowing Belizeans to come and assist, even if it means moving the country in a better and prosperous direction, so maybe the suffering is of no problem.

    On a serious note something has to be done and quickly, the country is going to hell in a hand baxket daily.

  14. National service day says:


  15. Eda says:


  16. BMNJ says:

    There will be a lot of cover ups. What we need are whistleblowers. Only ‘insiders’ will have the names of all the top men or women in authority that are involved.

  17. Rod says:

    These are acts of treason and people should go to jail or 15 yrs at least because hey are traitors to heir country but when we have a pm that turns a blind eye to crime what do you expect resign barrow just resign. The people should take you straight from the airport to jail because you are complesit. To these crimes oing on in the country resign before it is too late for you the Belize people are waking up be careful.

  18. inrteresting says:

    the murder of Hart Tillett, Raffic Labboun, human trafficking, ministers…and a guy who was in Cuba during the Chinese passport and visa scandal…Which country listed above is he in now?

  19. Storm says:

    I hope against hope that some intelligence unit within the government was ahead of the press on this thing.

    But now that it is out in the open, GSU should raid ALL of the locations connected with these foreign-born human traffickers and seize everything, to secure whatever evidence there is.

    I say GSU, because Hezbollah is one of the ultimate gangs on Earth. And they need suppressing!

    We are so vulnerable to these terrorists, because our nation is small and our security resources can easily be overwhelmed by numbers and sophistication. Set aside Belizean pride and nationalism, I think we need to call for help from UK [MI-6] and US [CIA] TODAY.

    Observation of world events proves that Islamic extremists have no hesitation to kill ANYONE in the most barbaric way for any reason. Do we act after bodies start turning up on our streets, or do we try to save ourselves first?

  20. Elgin Martinez says:

    Why is it surprising to you all that the PM is not aware of the state of our Country when he is in Florida 99% of the time.

  21. No Bend Down says:

    AH mi tell unu! Dehn di tek unu @$%!) BIG TIME Belize!

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