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Belize Media Presses Government For Criminal Investigation On Penner Passport Scandal

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But will there be a criminal investigation into the current passport scandal? There should since there is enough to suggest that a crime was committed in the issuance of a passport to South Korean national, Kim Wonhong, who was behind bars in Taipei when he got the passport on September ninth. Elvin Penner lost his cabinet seat for his involvement in the passport scandal and three immigration officers: Sharon Neal, Omar Phillips and Erwin Robinson have been placed on a ten day suspension. The officers were asked to respond to certain questions in the illegal issuance of the passport to Wonhong and word is that at least one has answered.  But up to tonight, there is not even a slight indication that a criminal investigation is to take place. This morning, talk show host Mose Hyde of W.U.B. morning show, while on air called the police department numerous times to register a complaint. Hyde’s calls were cut off at least twice and when he finally got through to the office of the Commissioner of Police, he still had no luck. These are snippets of how that went.


Mose Hyde, Host, W.U.B. Morning Show

“Good morning sir, this is Mose Hyde from Krem Radio/Krem Television, from the WUB and I want to register a complaint and I don’t know who is best able to take that down for me. I want to be able to know that the police department knows of the situation at the immigration department and that I would like for there to be an investigation there sir. So to whom can I make this complaint and record that you all will be able to at least know that we have this concern.”


Respondent # 1

“I neva get you clear sir. What is your concern sir?”


Mose Hyde

“My concern sir is that something seems to have gone wrong at the immigration department and I would like for the police department to be involved in the investigation.”


Respondent # 1

“May I ask who is speaking sir?”


Mose Hyde

“I said Mose Hyde sir from the WUB Krem Television/Krem Radio. And all I am trying to do is not to put anybody on the spot, I am trying to register the fact that I believe that something has gone wrong. I have watched enough on the news to think that something has gone wrong; that there is some skulduggery going on there and I would like my police department to be involved in the investigation. That is all I a trying to do.”


Respondent # 1

“They have the relevant authorities to talk to sir. I don’t have any…”


Mose Hyde

“Who can I speak to? Sir is the commissioner available there?”


Respondent # 1

“Well they have fu dehn straight line. I don’t know what that line is. Probably you can…”


Mose Hyde

“Is it possible for you to put me on hold sir that you can try to ascertain who is the best person for you to transfer me to sir?”


Sharon Marin-Lewis, Co-Host, W.U.B. Morning Show

“I think dehn heng up pan yo.”


Mose Hyde

“You think soh again? I noh think so.”


Sharon Marin-Lewis

“I tell yo.”


Mose Hyde

“Good morning, this is Mose Hyde of Krem W.U.B. calling for the commissioner.”


Respondent # 2

“I’m very sorry Mister Hyde, the commissioner is not in today.”


Mose Hyde

“Okay, alright man. You need to tell me that nobody from the police department can help out a brother to tell me where I can simply make a call to a person and you all could just record my complaint that I want the police department involved in this investigation? I am not demanding arrest, I am not demanding charge—that is up to you all—but you cannot explain to me how you would not be involved with the investigation; that you would not see it enough to become actively curious and start to ask questions at the department and start to ask questions of the principals. I don’t understand how you can defend that. There is no defence for that; there is no defence in the country of Belize for the primary arm of investigation not to be active, not to be asking questions. What do y’all need to ask questions? You can go into homes and knock down doors and jump in looking on just the word of an intelligence report. Somebody can just whisper to you that you know what I believe something di go on wrong in Sharon house and that is enough for you to go there. I am not telling you to knock down nobody door; I am not asking of you to go and… I am asking you to please be active and involved in the investigation; that’s all mien. You tell me how that is a request that is outrageous; that is not a natural requirement of the state if something is perceived to have gone wrong. Don’t we have investigators who should be there to the naked eye? I don’t see it; I don’t hear it through the grape vines that there has been any active investigation initiated by the police department. And I am saying how the hell come.”

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