A Chinese national is in police detention tonight after being caught with a fake Belizean Nationality certificate. The man goes by the name Yuanran Zheng and he reportedly entered Belize for the first time on Sunday, November 5. Zheng was caught applying for a social security card at the Social Security Office in Belmopan, one day after his arrival into the country. He was accompanied by a translator who was also detained by Belmopan Police. After Zheng presented the phony nationality certificate, the employees at the Social Security Officer noticed immediately that it was a phony document and contacted personnel at the Immigration Department. Both Zheng and his translator were charged for uttering upon a false document and attempting to use the false document to obtain an identification document. According to the Minister responsible for Immigration, Beverly Williams, the new nationality certificate has security features which were absent on the one presented by Zhang.
Minister Beverly Williams
“Certainly when we decided to look at the certificate it was with a view to improving the quality of that certificate or the quality of service or to look at how we can improve confidence within the system in immigration. The matter of the features, the new ones which were introduced earlier this year it is difficult- no system is foolproof- but it is going to be very difficult for those to be duplicated or to be misrepresented. That certificate that was dealt with yesterday in the courts was one of the old certificates. It appears it may have been where it was issued as a duplicate or as a replacement certificate and so the seals may not have looked proper, the signatures from just looking at it looks real but saying this is a true copy of the original but that stands to take its course and to be tested in the courts. The system is such that you will never have a risk-proof system but in immigration, we are certainly trying to ensure that the system removes as many of those risks that exist in the current system whereby a new certificate at this time.”
Authorities are also investigating the possibility of an outside ring attempting to penetrate the department, something that Minister Williams is sure of.
Minister Beverly Williams
“I will dare say that I believe all if not most of it is happening on the outside and not from the inside of immigration at this time. I believe that the current hearings, the fact that this is a responsibility that I certainly take seriously and have built a management team with some new staff members with a CEO that is supporting to look at these issues. You would like to hear from us that there are ongoing review of the passport system, we’ve requested for those developments, for permanent residents status, nationality, for the application of visas and so we are at this time looking at those, looking at the redundancies within those to make it have the level of risk to build security but also to reduce the pressure on the people who come in and you send them for an ID you come back, you send them for another piece of paper and come back- so its to review that system so that we can feel services in Immigration and Nationality Service.”
Love News understands that Zheng is scheduled to reappear in Belmopan Magistrate court tomorrow where he will be arraigned on a charge of forgery.