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The “illegal processing” of CBI passports

Commissioner Don McKenzie – has remained totally silent on the issue

Acting Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie has apparently resorted to a news blackout on reports that the island’s National Security could have been compromised by an Immigration officer who was discovered “illegally” processing the renewal of passport application forms for persons under the controversial Citizenship by Investment (CBI) scheme.

The island’s chief cop has continued to maintain a deafening silence on the issue nine days after he was first approached on the matter by THE NEW TODAY.

On Thursday, the following message was again sent to McKenzie via Whatsapp and he did read it but without offering an acknowledgement or response: “Mr. Commissioner on December 20, I sent the following message to you for a response in my capacity as a Journalist – am getting reports about a female Immigration officer that was engaged in a questionable act of processing renewal of passports for CBI Persons who were granted a Grenadian passport under the programme .

This Immigration officer is not known to be a CBI agent. The person was allegedly called in by the Head of Immigration and given a stern warning.”

It is now December 28 and there has been no response from you who under the law is the Chief Immigration Officer. I would hate to think that you have taken the position not to confirm or categorically deny the report.

I consider it responsible journalism to come to the Commissioner for a comment on the issue and not engage in speculation.

Eight days after, I am still giving you an opportunity to clear the air on an issue that borders on a possible breach of National Security by one of your officers involving something as sensitive as the CBI programme.”

THE NEW TODAY understands that the information about the possible breach of National Security was also drawn to the attention of a top official in the Ministry of National Security that is headed by Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.

According to a government insider in the Botanical Gardens, the female officer who is considered to be a strong supporter of the main opposition New National Party (NNP) was removed as the person in charge of processing the applications for renewal of passports by CBI persons.

Related:  COP Don McKenzie comes under fire

He said that before the passport goes to the Processing room, the person who is assigned the task as the Processing Officer has to go “through the applications to see that all the documents are there, the applications are all filled out properly.”

THE NEW TODAY understands that several years ago an attempt was made to get the High Command to remove the individual from the main office and her position in light of allegations that the person was engaged in some questionable dealings at the main office.

“Instead of removing her from the Department totally, they put her onto the airport,” said the source.

In addition, he pointed out that female Immigration Officer still had the privilege to come to the office and allegedly was still processing the renewal application forms by CBI recipients of Grenadian passports.

Senior officers within the Immigration Department at the Botanical Gardens reportedly brought the matter to the attention of the head of the office who called in the female officer “in an emergency meeting” in the presence of two senior officers and reprimanded the individual for her actions “and instructed her that she should no longer sign those applications.”

“If they send her down (at MBIA) that is to do Immigration duties – not to do passport duties. Passport duties (are) only done at the Passport Office.”

When contacted for comment on McKenzie’s non-response to THE NEW TODAY, a senior Commander said he could not understand “this stonewalling” on his part on such a sensitive issue and urged the paper to “pursue with full force” its investigation into the allegation about a possible breach of National Security by the Immigration Officer.

He said it raises questions about the possibility of someone who might have been under investigation being allowed “to fall through the crack” and end up with another Grenadian passport.

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