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Oct 3, 2013

Who certified Kim Wonhong’s identity? Should Penner be criminally charged?

Dean Barrow

At a late evening interview between the Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the media on Wednesday, Barrow’s position that an investigation into the matter of the issuance of a falsified Belizean passport to Kim Wonhong does not warrant a criminal investigation, there are still a myriad of questions which remain unanswered.  Top among those queries is the signature affixed to the passport pictures certifying the South Korean businessman’s identity.  According to Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, the requirements are that the applicant must be identified by two persons in separate phases of the process before being physically present to take the picture.  While the prime minister agrees that it is standard procedure, he argued vehemently that the process beyond that point was not influenced by former Minister of State, Elvin Penner.  The signature, Barrow says, cannot be the basis on which an argument can be made to charge Penner criminally.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I am telling you, with respect to signing the pictures, all that is required for there to be a legitimate signing of a picture is that you know the person whose picture it is and that you certify truly as to the length of time that you have known that person.  So what you are saying does not advance the matter.  I am not disagreeing with you that when the application is being processed those in the passport office who have to do the data capture should have that applicant in front of them so that the picture can be taken so that the fingerprint can be attached but that’s not Penner’s job and that wasn’t Penner’s role.”



“But he influenced them.”


Dean Barrow

“How do you know that ma’am?”



“A minister appearing at an office telling them that they need to process this passport…”


Dean Barrow

“Ms. Marisol, Ms. Marisol where is the evidence of that; that Penner went there himself and told them to process.  Penner says no such thing happened.”



“There is some evidence in the pictures that have been provided and people out there believe that the police should come in and investigate it.”


Dean Barrow

“You are, I believe, a sensible journalist.  I will respect the fact that you want to go in a certain direction because no doubt that helps you in your profession and it makes your news dramatic but please, please, we’re talking now at the level of what is a fact and we’re talking at a level of maturity.  In terms of processing the application, Penner has nothing to do with that.  I have never heard that the persons who processed the application in the passport office are claiming that Penner came there and told them the person isn’t here who’s making the application but you will, nevertheless, process it.  I have never heard that.  Where do you get that from?  If you have your sources that are saying that let them come forward man but don’t ask me to act on that basis.  Don’t use that as a platform on which to make your argument that Penner should be charged criminally.”

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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9 Responses for “Who certified Kim Wonhong’s identity? Should Penner be criminally charged?”

  1. on the run says:

    Penner signed the documents because he was told to do so.

    Like he knows this guy from Korea who has never been to Belize?
    They go to the same church in Taiwan?

    Penner just follows orders, and things got messy. He is caught in the middle doing his master’s bidding.

    So who told Penner to sign the document?

  2. on the ropes says:

    I would be surprised Penner lasts till the end of the year. He knows too much. He is going to crack. He is big risk if he spills the beano.

  3. beliezean says:

    So who told Penner to sign the document?
    Eric because he is from same country
    if he is not guilty then why he don’t come home..
    on the run you get it
    i don’t believe Penner will do that, but he had to do it

  4. Love says:

    I done punish Penner enough, my people! The poor man the take licks, AND RIGHTLY SO, what more do you want? We want to find out how much more people NEVER SET FOOT IN BELIZE, but Penner, John and Contreras knew all of them, so they were given Belizean nationality, and passport. WITHOUT SETTING FOOT INTO BELIZE fe mucho DALLAZ???

  5. Guerra says:

    To try to cover up C O R R U P T I O N , is to say to the Belizean public and the world, cause people from abroad are looking at our news clips, that we are all corrupted alike. PM has classed himself with the same CROWD. HE is saying I am no different than THEM!

  6. Al says:

    Is this PM serious, he truly believes that the selling of a countries official document for a sum that is way above the normal passport legitimate cost is not a criminal act. To falsify a document to say that you know this person, when there is no possible way you could is not an act of dishonesty?

    If the party in power was PUP would the PM feel the same way about this treasonous act. When Penner signed those document it was with a clear intent to deceive. He did it with full knowledge of what he was doing, because he has done this before he knows nothing will come of his action.
    Belize is becoming a haven for criminals running away from facing justice in their own country.
    Belize slogan should be “send us your criminals, your rejects and your terrorists, for a few dollars paid to government officials, we will welcome them with open arms.”

    This country has become a disgrace in the world. Belize may make the #1 spot on the next published list of most corrupt government and country.

  7. hard woking Belizean says:

    Stop playing the fool PM! YOU filled you big mouth when it was time to condemn Musa & Fonseca with not being transparent and stealing from the Belizean people, which is true, however you of all people will now protect such blatant corruption!! Dah fool di talk but da no fool di listen!! Time to rise to the occasion people!

  8. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    The last thing weh left thiefing Penner fi seh da neva he sign the document that his signature was forge da weh flux he neva seh that. This man tek d Belizean people fir @@sses. They always seh no mek wah bald head man be ur boss. U wah know why dean bald becaz he no sleep da night thinking and planning how he will rape d people if Beliz.

  9. Al says:

    He says he want the Coast Guard who behaved badly with the foreign prime minister to be more severely punished, because being only stripped of his rank is not good enough. Yet, Penner who is in charge of upholding our very citizenship, does something like this, but stripping of his ministerial rank is punishment enough for him? How much more hypocritical can he be?

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