Xate Blooming In The Forest Reserve

Tonight, there is some good news coming out of the Chiquibul National Park as the Friends for Conser...

Price for Regular Gasoline and Kerosene Reduce

As of mid-night tonight, prices for Regular Gasoline and Kerosene will see reductions at the pumps. ...

Well Known City Figure Charged For Courts Robbery In Corozal

Also arraigned at the Magistrate’s Court today was known city figure Samuel Halliday, who turned 26 ...

Ambassadors Present Credentials To Governor General

Four ambassadors presented their Letters of Credence today to the Governor General of Belize His Exc...

Preliminary Figures For Re-Registration Released

Today marks the start of week two in the mass re-registration exercise here in the Jewel. As the pro...

  • Xate Blooming In The Forest Reserve

    Tuesday, 10 July 2018 01:56
  • Price for Regular Gasoline and Kerosene Reduce

    Tuesday, 10 July 2018 02:02
  • Well Known City Figure Charged For Courts Robbery In Corozal

    Tuesday, 10 July 2018 02:07
  • Ambassadors Present Credentials To Governor General

    Tuesday, 10 July 2018 02:14
  • Preliminary Figures For Re-Registration Released

    Tuesday, 10 July 2018 02:22

It is clear that many answers are still forthcoming in the matter of the 8 visa foils that went missing, and this is why, as we mentioned earlier, both Chang and Tillett have been invited to appear before the Committee. Both will have to explain why, when and how they accessed those visas and in precise detail. Tench, shared in the today’s hearing, that Tillett related to him that he had already gotten 12 visas through the then Minister but that wasn’t enough.

 

Screen_Shot_2017-03-01_at_6.58.28_PMMark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“When we start to think back it would have been somewhere about the 24th or 25th of November sometime around that time when the VISAS went missing.  Mr. Tillette didn’t bought it the same day he bought it I think three or four days after and his reason was that they had already gotten some VISAS legitimately but they had wanted more and their minister had said no, so they found an agent that was his explanation.”


Aldo Salazar – Chairman Special Senate Select Committee


“They found an agent to do what?”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“They found a person whom they called an immigration agent and that was what the terminology that they used for Mr. Middleton was.”


The Committee was also interested in how the Department handled the very serious case of theft and breach of security. There was no public revelation of the incident by the Department, no mention by the Police and in fact not even the Director of Immigration at the time was informed. When asked why this was the case, Tench indicated that his superior Edgar Cano should answer that.


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“Well, when the VISAS went missing and I spoke to Mr. Cano, he didn’t tell me yes/no nothing, he just listen to my phone call and I explained to him exactly what happened.  Mr. Vernon Leslie, another supervisor, he was a supervisor also but he was the second in charge of the station, he came in at eight o’clock , I was there from six and I explained to him the situation and we spoke to Mr. Cano quite a few times but Mr. Cano was on vacation, anyway.”

 

Aldo Salazar – Chairman Special Senate Select Committee


“I am gathering from you, are you saying that Mr. Cano was unconcern about the situation, wasn’t there any concern?”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“I can’t if he was concern; I am telling you that Mr. Cano was given the fact both by me and Mr. Leslie and that is all I can say.”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“Because we knew there were more officers involved and we were trying to get him to reveal more information but all he would tell us was that it was one person and he wouldn’t tell us anything more.”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Why would you say that you knew other officers were involved?”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“Because of things that were said around the border at the time and we even interviewed a couple of those officers that we suspected but they had already found out that we had done an investigation, somebody had told on person what we had found and so they were basically prepared for whatever when we call them into the office to interview them, one thing I want to say is that upon returning from that trip that night from Corozal with the information that we had I told Mr. Cano to call the police because I told him we could not carry that investigation anyway further that is what I told him, I told him you need to call the police because we have done everything we cannot take this anymore we cannot call in anybody from off the street, the reason why those people met with us is because they thought that we could help them with something but now that it would turn into a point like a criminal offence they wouldn’t talk to us anymore they wouldn’t do that so I told him call the police let us get the police involved so that they can do a thorough investigation and we already knew most of the facts it would have been just to push a little more and we would have gotten the whole thing but he never did.”


What did apparently happen, however, was a complete shut out of the case of missing visas, instead of alarm bells going off and proper investigations taking place. It appears business continued as usual at the Western Border and the Immigration Supervisors who were knowledgeable of the case even agreed to give the least suspicion that something had gone really wrong. The Committee frowned at this decision taken and questioned whether there was a cover up.

 

Dr. Carla Barnette – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“The right thing to do would have been to requisition new VISAS?”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“Yes”


Dr. Carla Barnette – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“So why didn’t you requisition new VISAS because I don’t understand why you needed to issue VISAS against the stubs or receipt against however it was done, I don’t understand why you would do that rather than issue new and legitimate VISAS because in my mind really it was unnecessary to be filling out the stubs that were there?”

 

Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“I just followed the instructions that were given out to me.”


Dr. Carla Barnette – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Sir, but you knew that that was wrong though, right because if you don’t know that it was wrong then we have a problem?”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“No, no I told Mr. Cano and Mr. Leslie that if they are positively sure that this is what they wanted it to do and they told me yes.”


Senator Mark Lizaraga – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Earlier, a cover-up that’s what it was?”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“I won’t call it a cover-up”


Senator Mark Lizaraga – Member Special Senate Select committee


Sorry because you are issuing a number for those foils that were already with eight other people, you reissued those numbers gave them a stamp and collected under the impression that it was for the numbers that were missing, am I correct? That is what I wanted to understand chair how did people that paid for those numbers get a VISA if the foils were in another eight passports, three were no foils, so you issued numbers wrongly as Senator Barnette is suggesting, you agree with that?”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“Well, all I can say is that I just followed the instructions that my officer gave me.”


Senator Mark Lizaraga – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Instructions that were given by?”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“My officer in charge.”


Senator Mark Lizaraga – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Which was Mr. Cano.”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“Yes”


Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“They should have known better.”


Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border


“Well, like I said I got the instructions from Mr. Cano and we followed the instructions that he gave us.”


A second witness, Vernon Leslie, who was also named in the Tench’s testimony this morning appeared in the afternoon. We will have more on Leslie’s disclosures in tomorrow’s newscast.

Share this post

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