BELIZE CITY, Mon. Aug. 29, 2016–Of the 55,000-plus Belizean immigration documents issued with major irregularities, one is currently held by Peter William Dahlstrom, brother-in-law of Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow, according to the recently published audit by the Auditor General.
According to the audit, “Peter William Dahlstrom, a native of Sweden, did not qualify for Belizean nationality and was issued nationality certificate number 28265/12.”
Dahlstrom applied for Belizean nationality on the basis of his marriage to a Belizean and submitted a copy of his marriage certificate which proved that he did marry Sherrette Normandeen Simplis in 1994.
The audit into his nationality application further revealed that on April 5, 2012, Dean Barrow and his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, “stated that they had known the applicant for 20 years.”
The Auditor General ruled that he did not qualify for nationality because:
1) On his application he wrote, “Eventually wants to reside in Belize.” (The regulations state that the applicant has to be resident and intends to continue to be ordinarily resident in Belize.)
2) The report stated that on his application and in the interview of the applicant, he “have (sic) been spending 4-6 weeks in Belize every year for the last 20 years.” (The regulations state that the applicant qualifies if he has been resident in Belize throughout a period of one year immediately preceding the date of the application of such applicant.)
3) His Swedish passport #53494662, issued 8th May 2007, and his European Union passport #84199017, issued 19th February 2012, did not show that he had been resident in Belize throughout a period of one year immediately preceding the date of his application.
4) Miss Ady Pacheco, the Immigration officer, who interviewed the applicant, wrote on the minute sheet to the Director of Immigration that he “qualifies for Citizenship under Section 11 of the Nationality Act”, when he did not.
5) The section of Part IV of his application form, which should have been completed by an HQ Vetting Officer with an indication of a CIDAPS Check, CRO Check, JICC Check and a signature by the HQ Vetting Officer, was not completed.
Several other irregularities were highlighted by the audit, including that in some instances, the application for references was incomplete.
In a telephone interview with 7News Jules Vasquez on Friday, PM Barrow said, “I have no doubt that he applied for a passport; I would have in fact certified that I know him for so very many years. If he’s saying that I wrote some sort of a letter asking that he be given his nationality, I do not recollect any such thing, and I would believe that that is absolute nonsense. And in terms of the substance of his charge, my wife’s brother-in-law maintains a residence in Belize; you can argue about what is enough to satisfy the requirements of the law, that’s a matter between him and the Immigration officials.”