And while the topic of the Senate inquiry came up, so did the names of well-known UDP agents Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett who testified last week about their roles in immigration scandals including the Kim Won Hong fiasco and the visas stolen from the Western Border in December 2012. Chang admitted that he tried to visit Kim who was held at a detention center in Taiwan, while Tillett admitted he was selling visas for $6,000. Today, the PM scoffed at both gentlemen, and while Chang’s reputation had already been sullied in his view, Patrick Tillett’s confessions have surprised him most.
Rt. Honourable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
“From the time that incident happened with Penner and it was clear that there was some involvement on the part of Eric Chang, am not saying that the involvement was by way of anything fraudulent or anything criminal not at all but there was some involvement but after that I recollect the Mayor of Belize City, the Mayor who from time to time talks about injustice enrichment and that sort of thing and I had had quite a set too because he was insisting that Eric Chang be part of the UDP Ticket for the City Council elections and I said absolutely not and I told Eric don’t you put up your name because I personally will go to the ethics of the party and I will ensure that you cannot run for this party again and so as I say suggesting that he was guilty of anything the appearances alone convinced me that he couldn’t run for the UDP again. In terms of Mr. Patrick Tillette, I don’t know what to say you perfectly right we put him at the City council at a time when we thought that things were not being well run especially from the point of view of the financial administration and we did so because I know his two brothers better than I know him; Ambrose, Robert I know these people to be rock solid in terms of integrity and I though the same regarding Patrick Tillette I haven’t looked in any detailed at the revelations of Mr. Tillette’s’ involvement in this whole VISA thing but I certainly get the sense that he did not come out of it with his credibility intact, or smelling like a rose the relationship between him and the government in terms of that assignment he had been given ended a long time ago and was not renewed in any context or capacity at all nevertheless he is a UDP I think Chang still is and it does hurt me terribly when in fact the line of questioning and the responses that I have seen create a picture that leaves a great deal to be desired.”
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