A man using the name Martin Muzikant was arraigned earlier today in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. Muzikant had previously been living in Belize when he was charged for using a fake identity with a Czech Republic Passport, which had been reported lost or stolen by its proper owner in the Czech Republic. In April of 2013, Muzikant was charged for unlawful possession of a passport and escaping from police which he pleaded guilty to in April of 2013. Subsequent to that he was expelled from Belize giving orders that he should not return to Belize. He disobeyed that order and ended up back in Belize. It is a situation that the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) is placing solely in the lap of the Government of Belize. Geovannie Brackett, COLA’s President explained.
“I’m not sure how he entered the country again under a different guise but for us at COLA we got alarmed because similarly with the David Nanes matter who got several different identification here in Belize and was wanted by the US and allowed him to get away. Just recently last night on the news the Ann Swaney murder the only suspect was let go over the border to Guatemala and we have the whole international community looking at us right now in particular what Belize is doing and if we give the impression that we are not prepared to fight corruption it’s very hard for us to go to Washington and to ask favors not to derisk our banks. I think all of it is connected.”
Reports indicate that Muzikant had eluded the authorities as he had filed his fingertips to rid himself of fingerprints thus making it difficult for the police to identify him. Brackett further stated that this incident is an indication of cracks in the immigration system since a deportee had managed to re-enter Belize.
“As far as the immigration department is right now it just shows that there are cracks in the system still and if this individual’s passport was taken away we have to question what identity he used to get back into the country. I know that normally when you travel you put your eye to the scanner beside your fingerprint I would think that if you don’t even have proper finger prints at least by that identification you must be able to tell if it is the same individual. The immigration department does have to look at their security measures and question how to strengthen the cracks and their security.”
Muzikant pled guilty to illegal entry and failure to report to immigration authorities and was sentenced to one year imprisonment after which, he will be deported. Love News tried to reach Immigration Minister, Godwin Hulse to comment on the matter but was unsuccessful. While Muzikant was incarcerated in April 2013, his mother reported that an attorney in Orange Walk had taken just under thirty thousand dollars to bribe magistrates to give Muzikant bail. That attorney was later suspended.