Belize???s Immigration Kickback Wizard ???Corruption???

Posted on July 12, 2010

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The Sign of Human Trafficking

Need a tourist stamp on your passport and you’re past the 30-day deadline?  Call the Expeditor.  Takes one day and a fee.Need a work visa for yourself, a worker or a human trafficking victim and don’t want to wait the two months it usually takes immigration to process your application?  Call the Expeditor.  Takes one day and a fee.Wanting a work visa so you can stay in Belize and start a business and not interested in the long interview process?  And you’re not interested in dealing with the pesky paperwork required by immigration:  purchase agreements; bank information; lease; and licenses etc?  No patience for waiting the two months normally required by immigration for processing all this.  Presto.  With the Expeditor’s help, it takes one day, and a fee and you get a passport stamp indicating you have a one-year visa.Residency status can be granted expeditiously if you follow the business work visa steps and add a fee for the Expeditor.  Usually you have to wait a year before you get approval from immigration for your residency status.  With his help, you are moved through the process almost overnight.  The more money you have the faster it goes.  Ask software kingpin John McAfee how he got his residency on the express route.So, are these stamps, visas and other documents real?  Yes.  They do come from the Belize immigration department.  The Expeditor has a network of contacts within the department who are just as attached to graft as they are to their do-nothing jobs.  The fees paid to the Expeditor are shared with top immigration officials.  He gets his cut, the officials get their share and there is still enough money left over to actually put the cost of the document into the general review fund of Belize and have it go down in their “books” as a legitimately rendered document.To put things into perspective on the amount of money he gets and shares with immigration brass:  a work visa is supposed to cost $150 (Belize) and comes with a two month waiting period.  Working through the Expeditor is faster, but it will cost you ten times as much.It’s true the Expeditor does have some small expenses he has to look after.  He has a network of hustlers he keeps on a string.  Taxi drivers are particularly in-the-know on how to get, for example, tourist stamps.  If he’s an Expeditor franchisee, taxi driver gets a small cut, too.   Chicken feed.In all corrupt systems there is always a key fixer.  In the case of Belize, there is a man called the Expeditor.  Working out of Belmopan, this wizard of kickback is highly placed among his government cronies and has a special relationship with the immigration department.Every year, he makes millions for himself and Belize immigration’s corrupt top management.  Here’s how.For immigration bosses and their partner, the Expeditor, business is good.

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