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People’s United Party

People ’s United Party November 23, 2015 Secretariat PRESS RELEASE THE PEOPLE’S UNITED PARTY'S POSITION ON

November 23, 2015

Secretariat

PRESS RELEASE

THE PEOPLE’S UNITED PARTY'S POSITION ON ISSUES OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION

The People's United Party (PUP) records its deep dis-satisfaction with the handling of the case of international fugitive David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer aka “David Banes” by the Ministries of National Security and Immigration and expresses urgent concern with the apparent dereliction of duty by both those Ministries in this matter.

Although it was clear, two weeks ago that Nanes Schnitzer has obtained permanent residence, citizenship and a passport in Belize, and his Belizean citizenship was reportedly revoked and passport cancelled based on fraud on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, it is clear that no proper investigation on the matter was in fact done.

The Gazette entry states that the Minister of Immigration made the order stating that, "whereas it appears to me that David M Banes, known as David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer…who was registered as a citizen of Belize as evidenced by certificate of registration dated 17th. November, 2012, was so registered by means of fraud, false representation and the concealment of material circumstance and by mistake."

The Statement of the Minister of Immigration in the Gazette is that "I do declare that the above mentioned David M. Banes shall hereby cease to be a citizen of Belize." It is critical to note that Nanes Schnitzer was never charged by any authority in Belize with obtaining nationality by “fraud, false representation and the concealment of material circumstance”. This demands an immediate explanation from both the Ministry of Immigration and the Ministry of National Security, both of whom should have acted immediately to ensure that a criminal complaint was made on behalf of the state. Their failure to act is an inexplicable and severe dereliction of duty and gross negligence of our national security concerns.

Published media reports indicate that the names of “some of the same playersthat were involved in the Won Hong Kim passport scandal, “also appear on the David Banes passport paper trail. On that basis, the People’s United Party demands that the Prime Minister table with immediate effect, at the next sitting of the House of Representatives on December 4 th 2015, the report of the Auditor General on the Immigration Scandal and the irregularities observed by her office in respect of the “Pennergate” investigation.

The Nanes Schnitzer case proves once again that there is hidden rot in the Immigration Department and that such rot is institutionalized and will mar the reputation of our nation, making us seem to be condoning or complicit in corrupt practices, or grossly incompetent or both.

The People’s United Party takes the position that there must be a full investigation on the Nanes Schnitzer case, and on all corrupt practices that have taken place since 2008, and that continue to take place in the Immigration Department.

We call upon the Government of Belize to act responsibly and in the interest of national security and sovereignty to ensure that such an investigation takes place immediately.

To that end, The People’s United Party advises Belizeans that we intend to undertake another motion in the Senate, for a full and impartial investigation of corruption in the Immigration Department, with the full co-operation of the Auditor-General and to call upon the CEOs of National Security and Immigration to answer to the Senate in this urgent and critical manner. We expect that all Senators will support such a motion in the best interest of transparency, accountability and good Governance. Our nation’s national security demands no less

~~ENDS~~

Contact: Senator Lisa Shoman 610-3575

Serve the People!

#3 Queen Street, Belize City

Telephone: 674-9958

Facsimile: 223-3476