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Even though she was moved from the Immigration Department in September 2013, following the Penner/Won Hong Kim scandal, Marin’s name has been called out in numerous reports that followed. Most recent, the Auditor General’s special audit report named Marin for a number of flagrances, but they also made mention of her for allegedly refusing to provide key information to their investigation team. Flanked by her attorney, Darrel Bradley, Ms Marin defended herself today, saying she did what she could.


Senator Aldo Salazar, Chairman


“The suggestion is made that you were not as cooperative as was expected from the Auditors General’s team in your interaction with the Audit Team, in conducting the audit, is that the case?”


MariaMaria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration


“No sir not at all, the audit team came to visit me in November and that was comprised of the Auditor General and I can recall that of November 2013, I can recall that she came with at least two examiners Senior Officers at the time, they came to indicate to me and they told me that they were going to do an Audit of the department at that time I told them that I welcome that opportunity because I felt that that audit would add substance to what I had already been trying to achieve at the department through my ministry at no time did I indicate to them that they were not welcome there.”


Maria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration


“When they requested it I did not had that so I said that is with the ministry that is one of the first one that I referred them to the ministry.  The other one, that they asked for was qualities and procedures governing the application and issuance of nationality certificates and passport that was forwarded to the officer in charge of nationality and the officer in charge of passport to ensure that they handed that over to the Audit team, the quality and procedure for the issuance of VISAS that instructions were given to the officer in charge of Immigration to ensure that they got that information, there were two others electronic, manual data bases for the nationality certificates and passport for the above period, for the nationality certificates we had the huge registers or ledgers with thick cover bounding that was available in the nationality section, the machine readable passport system and the passport files we did not had a database proper of these electronic or manual, the database for the issuance of VISAS there was no database as such there were the files and so we refer them to those, there was the swearing in ceremony register that was with the minister at the time.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry


“Why was the Audit not able to take a look at the registers that was minister Hulse?”


Maria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration


“I don’t know, my indication to the officer in charge when I got the memo because most of the time the memo went to the CEO, I indicated that I could not hand that over because that was not with me they had to check with the ministry for that I said it was unreasonable for them to be complaining and putting that in a report that I was not cooperative because I was not handing over documentation or registers that were not in my possession at the time. This is proof that I had handed over those registers and receipt books, numbers books that were in my possession, these were handed over to the officer in charge of the Nationality and Permanent Residency section Mr. Gordon Wade, on the 3rd, 9 and 12th December.”


Senator Aldo Salazar, Chairman


“And what was the prove?”


Maria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration


“My agenda that is a page on my agenda the 3rd of December which says to Mr. Wade nationality numbers book for period January 3rd 2011 to September 2nd 2013 for delivery to Mrs. Farber for Audit Leader, the signature is here and my signature is here.”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Select Committee Member


“Here are documents that are critical to this audit that are at the ministry which you ought to have, the audit team is asking for it and your response to it is simply I don’t have it the ministry have it you felt no obligation to get it and make it available to the audit team.”


Maria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration


“It is not that I didn’t feel an obligation.”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Select Committee Member


“Did you feel an obligation in doing so?”


Maria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration


“I was concerned yes I was concerned that we did not have it and so because it was not with us we refer them with the ministry, a lot was going on in the department at that time a whole lot was going on.”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Select Committee Member


“I understand all of that, the question I am asking specifically is whether you felt obligated to get these documents that belong in your department from the ministry and make it available to the audit team?”

Maria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration


“I believe it was my obligation yes and I did indicate that to the CEO that they wanted the documents that were not in my possession.”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Select Committee Member


“Ok let’s take that further, you indicated to the CEO what was requested and that the ministry had it, did you take any steps to ensure that the CEO is ensured that the audit team got the documents?”


Maria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration


“No I left it at that I thought the CEO would have addressed it.”

Elena Smith, Senate Select Committee Member

“Looking back Ms. Marin, we keep saying that it is 2020 would you have done anything differently as it relates to providing documentation?”

Maria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration

“I believe so but my but at the time I had to go by what the situation and the circumstance at the time, I did my best at the time of the situation, I did my best with what I as faced with at the time.”

The Former Director also claimed that she felt that the feedback she did provide to the audit team on the allegations in the preliminary report issued were never acknowledged.

Maria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration

“Additionally I had been advised that the CEO would respond to your report for its concerns noted with its content.  When I read that preliminary report via email I immediately contacted my ministry (my CEO and my minister in the ministry) and I asked about it and I asked if anybody would respond or if anybody has responded and I was told that yes the CEO would have responded, I asked for a copy both the responds by the CEO and a copy of the preliminary report when I finally got a copy of those two in my view what I read as the CEO’s response I was not satisfied with it and so I decided that I was going to write my response.  My response was dated July 2014 to the Auditor General; it was a six page response in which I indicated to them that at no time.”

Senator Aldo Salazar, Chairman

“When was that dated?”

Maria Marin - Former Acting Director of Immigration

“July 2014, I have copies if you would want can make them available.”

Senator Aldo Salazar, Chairman

“I would wish that you could make that available to us.”

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