One of those scandals not mentioned by Former CEO Candelaria Saldivar-Morter but which can be linked to her term in office is that of the fraudulent nationality and passport documents issued to head of Mexican Ponzi scheme David Nanes Schitnzer.
Schnitzer was living in Belize for a number of years under the name David Banes before he absconded the country after receiving bail. There is more to report on tonight after Schnitzer’s, or in this case, Banes’ fake documents were leaked to the media.
As you may already know, you are required to live in Belize for five years before you can be granted nationality. Well, Nanes was here for less than that time and on December 17, 2012 he received his Belize nationality certificate with no. 28293 duly signed by Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse.
Five days later, the man known as Banes sent for his new Belizean passport. His leaked passport application document showed that a Senior Justice of the Peace, Gonzalo Heredia, signed it as recommender. Heredia claimed in the document that he knew the man “David Banes” for five years.
But David Banes was a total fake and charade. He went on to get a social security card and then driver’s license under his new Belizean identity.
Today, when the media caught up with Heredia in Belize City, he claimed he knew “Banes” for 3 years and that he was a client who he chaperoned in Belize City.
If you can recall, Schnitzer, although eventually caught by Interpol and held by Belizean authorities in 2015, was never detained for the serious acts of immigration fraud while in Belize. He was given a slap on the wrist by the Police who charged him with two counts of uttering a false document for the false driver’s licenses he possessed. Schnitzer’s attorney, Liesje-Barrow Chung, who is the niece of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, successfully argued for him to get bail, despite the fact that he was wanted by Mexican authorities for embezzlement charges. Schnitzer got bail and disappeared, until he was caught once more by Mexican authorities in January of this year.
Like many other immigration scandals there remains many questions on this case. Like…which officers vetted and approved the “David Banes” nationality application in 2012? Was a Minister’s letter attached to this application? As with previous case, apparently, we might never get the answers.