A formal complaint has been lodged by Krem Radio’s WUB talk show host, Evan “Mose” Hyde, in order to launch a criminal investigation into the ongoing passport scandal involving Hon. Elvin Penner, the Cayo Northeast area representative who now says that he was duped by an identity thief.
The complaint was made after several unsuccessful attempts by Hyde to reach the Police Department via phone on his morning talk show, “The Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes (WUB).” His calls were cut off at least twice, while on air, before he finally got through to the office of the Police Commissioner, but still he had no luck.
After numerous calls to various police formations, Hyde was directed to Sergeant Solomon Westby at CIB Precinct 2. After his show, Hyde then went to the Racoon Street police station to make a statement, based on what he termed as “significant irregularities” at the Immigration Department.
In the last few weeks, the Immigration Department, and by extension, the government, has come under fire in the media, and among the general citizenry, after an ensuing drama has unfolded, involving the issuance of a phony passport to a South Korean national, Won Hong Kim, who was imprisoned in Taiwan for an embezzlement scheme in which hundreds of millions of dollars went missing from a South Korean shipping company, SK Shipping Company.
Evan “Mose” Hyde is one of many concerned persons who are asking for a criminal investigation into the whole process, including of Penner’s actions. During his talk show today, Hyde dropped a bombshell when he presented the three pictures that appeared on the three documents that Penner referred to in his e-mail to the media last Friday; specifically, the South Korean passport, the Belize passport application and the Belizean passport that was processed in Won Hong Kim’s name. All three pictures on the documents are similar in appearance; however, the one on the Belizean passport appears to be a copy of the pictures on the passport application and the South Korean passport, and does not look as if it was actually taken at the Immigration Department in Belize, which is a requirement to get a Belize passport.
There is also the question of whether a swearing-in ceremony was held to certify “Won Hong Kim” as an official Belizean citizen.
Since a statement of complaint is required in order for there to be a police investigation, Hyde took the initiative to officially complain to the Belize Police Department, to trigger an investigation into what he called “criminal wrongdoing” in the Immigration and Nationality Department.
According to Hyde, his complaint is based principally on the belief that there are obvious incoherencies in the e-mail that Penner sent to 7 News last Friday evening, and moreover, that the passport was not only processed for an international fugitive who is in a Taiwanese prison, but the issuance itself transpired, more than likely, without a swearing-in ceremony, which is a mandatory part of the citizenship procedure.
Additionally, Penner may have incriminated himself when he reportedly told the Prime Minister that he signed the Nationality Certificate on September 9, when the documents show that Penner actually signed the passport application on September 3. This would be considered impossible, since one cannot apply for a Belizean passport unless he/she is recognized as a citizen.
That’s where the story gets even shadier, and evidently why “Mose” Hyde is pursuing a police investigation. And if all that is not enough to warrant an investigation by the police, there’s more. The Nationality file, which Penner claimed that he returned to the Immigration Department after signing the nationality certificate, has vanished.
This is all after Penner used his offices to expedite a passport for Won Hong Kim, a so-called business associate allegedly known to him either before he entered politics, as he stated in his e-mail, or, for the past three years, as he indicated on the passport application. For the record, Penner entered politics in 2007 when he won the UDP standard-bearer convention to represent the Cayo Northeast constituency.