BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 23, 2017–International fugitive David Nanes-Schnitzer, who defrauded thousands of investors in a Ponzi scheme, according to US/Mexican authorities, is again making headline news.
The media has obtained a 14-page internal memorandum written by former Immigration Director Maria Marin on December 11, 2015 to then Immigration CEO, Edmund Zuniga, which revealed how the fugitive was able to easily obtain fraudulent Belizean documents in a process shady from the start to the end.
It was Police Legal Officer, Bart Jones, who informed Marin of his concerns about Nanes. Marin thereafter conducted an internal investigation into his immigration documents.
On November 29, 2012, using the name David Miguel Banes, Nanes applied for Belizean nationality.
However, it appeared that his last name was first listed as Nanes, since the first letter appeared to have been superimposed on, whereby “N” was changed to “B.”
If proper procedures were adhered to, he would not have been allowed to superimpose over something as important as his surname.
In the affidavit contained on his application form, however, he declared himself to be “David Nanes” and not “David Banes.”
His two references for his application wrote claiming that they were supporting the application of Nanes, and not Banes.
However, no correction was ever made, and the officer who accepted the application, Senior Immigration Officer Ady Pacheco, completed the Nationality Application Receipt, recording that it was received from David Nanes.
The memorandum claimed that while Ms. Pacheco was assigned to the Nationality Section of the Immigration Department, it was not customary that she accept applications, as that duty was assigned to other officers.
Even though Nanes applied for his Belizean Nationality Certificate using “Banes,” his supporting documentation was completed in the name “Nanes.”
Those documents include a police report, a medical examination, a marriage certificate and a Bank of America statement.
But Pacheco went on to collect the fees for his nationality application from “Nanes,” using the name “Banes.”
The memorandum revealed that Gordon Wade, Officer in Charge of the Nationality section, who vetted the application, as well as then Director, Ruth Meighan, who gave the document recommendation for approval, also fell asleep at the wheels and facilitated this document.
The purported copy of Nanes’ United States passport used to apply for nationality was also a fraud, which was revealed when his surname in it was listed as Banes, but the machine-readable zone at the bottom of the same passport read, “Nanes.”
According to the memorandum, the Immigration Department contacted the United States embassy and asked them to review the photocopy of the bio data page of the passport and to confirm the validity of the passport.
The US embassy responded that his passport was issued in Miami, Florida, on January 14, 2008, in the name of David M. Nanes, and not “Banes.”
A review of the passport he used in his application for Belizean nationality revealed, according to the United States Embassy, “readily apparent fraudulent indicators.”
According to the memorandum, Ms. Pacheco was the officer who signed the copy of the passport certifying that it was a true copy of the original. In keeping with proper procedures, she should have carefully reviewed the original passport and compared it with the copy before certifying it.
Marin claimed that Wade should have noted the discrepancy in the passport during his vetting of the file, as he and Pacheco had spent upwards of 22 and 16 years, respectively, as seasoned officers.
Also revealed in the memorandum is that Pacheco was the person who carried out the entire process for Nanes’ nationality, even though this was not the norm. Additionally, she completed the entire process in 19 days, while this process is known to take 6-8 weeks.
The discrepancies continued in the qualifying criteria for citizenship for Nanes. Pacheco claimed that Nanes was a permanent residence holder since 2004, but on that same form, later she claimed he had been a permanent residence holder since 2006, and had even been married in Belize.
However, his marriage certificate revealed that he had been married in Mexico, and he had no permanent residence file at the Immigration Department.
Additionally, the permit number for the permanent residency stamp in his passport belonged to one “Warren Edward Mudry.”
According to the memorandum, all new nationals are required by law to sign an oath and attend a swearing ceremony, but “Nanes”/”Banes” did neither. His certificate was therefore illegally released.
From there, Nanes/Banes went on to receive every possible Belizean identification document.
Marin had made recommendations for disciplinary action against Pacheco and Wade in the published memorandum because of their misconduct with this file, but to date, they remain Immigration officers.
On the other hand, David Nanes/Banes-Schnitzer is in a Mexican prison awaiting trial.