Taiwanese National Injured During Traffic Mishap

A Taiwanese national who resides here in Orange Walk Town is lucky to be alive tonight after he was ...

The Wanted Fugitive, Dr. Errol Elrington Still At Large

In December we told you about an extradition request made by United States authorities for Attorney ...

Prime Minister On Medical Check Up Leave

Prime Minister Dean Barrow departed the country today for a follow-up medical consultative appointme...

  • Taiwanese National Injured During Traffic Mishap

    Wednesday, 17 January 2018 02:26
  • The Wanted Fugitive, Dr. Errol Elrington Still At Large

    Wednesday, 17 January 2018 02:29
  • Prime Minister On Medical Check Up Leave

    Wednesday, 17 January 2018 02:33

As you heard in our report of the Senate hearings earlier, the name Elvin Penner kept surfacing. Penner, you would recall, was in the thick of the 2013 immigration scandal involving illegal nationality and passport granted to South Korean national Won Hong Kim who was in a Taiwan jail at the time. Penner did more than recommend the processing of the documents. Yesterday the former Director Maria Marin testified that she had to carry out a major investigation into the Penner case, and while being asked about her involvement in the case, it led into a whole other serious conversation about a special file kept for Ministers, who like Penner, seemed to have an insatiable appetite for visas, passports and nationality documents.


Senator Aldo Salazar – Chairman Senate Select Committee


“Comments by Mrs. Maria Marin that VISA recommended Minister Penner request initialled by her and dated and approved her initial in the same thing occurs in Pen Lin and Lee Joan Liu, this suggestion which I am seeing here is that there was an approval because the minister, am not saying that is the case I am saying looking at this it could be interpreted that that suggestion is being made, so I want to ask you whether the recommendation of Minister Penner in these instances, whether that weights on your decision to approve the VISA?”


Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director


“Whether the requirements were met or whether the processes were followed and whether the supporting documents were provided.”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Committee member


“I want to know why you wrote VISA recommended by Minister Penner request, VISA recommended Minister Penner request, why you wrote that?”


Screen_Shot_2017-01-05_at_8.05.14_PMMaria Marin - Former Immigration Director


“I did not wrote that”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Committee member


“But it says that seeing with notation made by Mrs. Maria Marin that…”


Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director


“Those notations were on the, perhaps on the letters or on the application forms because we were doing an excel sheet if you follow I indicated and the excel sheet was for several purposes not only to see who was sponsoring people over and over again but also I have a spreadsheet where we were reporting to minister consistently during my time which ministers names kept coming up over and over and so that was an indication that these were the ministers who were recommending those applications but the application was not approved based on the recommendation.”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Committee member



“I’m sure”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Committee member


“You still insist Ms. Marin that these recommenders who were recommending people for VISAS that it was relevant and I kept doing it and you just kept tracking it, finding how much it is and reporting it to the political directors, I want to suggest to you that in all seriousness it was more than that and I want to suggest to you that the reasons ministers, am saying ministers, were recommending people for VISA it was sending a message to the people in the immigration department, this one have my backing process it.”


Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director


“Plays no role when it comes to my decision”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Committee member


“To you, that’s why I say the immigration department, any comment?”


Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director


“No officer came to me at any time and tell me they were pressured or they were told approve this, they did not come to me.”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Committee member


“Yeah they don’t have to tell you that, everybody knew.”


Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director


“I am not in a position that is the case because that did not influence my decision.”


Eamon Courtenay, Senate Committee member


“Mrs. Marin you keep absorbing yourself, right like Castro history will absorb me and that is fine, the reason we are having this investigation are being very serious is because a culture develop in the immigration department of intervention of ministers and I am suggesting to you that the reason that ministers recommended even though you are saying it is irrelevant in so far you are concerned it was a signal to the immigration department this has my back at you process it and that is why ministers according to you will intervene and saying you are being inflexible man.”

 

Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director


“And that was the culture that we were trying to remove from the get go.”


Marin was requested by the Committee to provide a copy of the spreadsheet with the list of Ministers involved, but she was unable to access her email files. She was ordered to provide a copy to the Clerk of the National Assembly by email, and it is expected that that document will be reviewed at next week’s session. We will continue our extensive coverage of the Senate hearings in tomorrow’s newscast.

Share this post

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.