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Chang also had to answer the allegations in the report that he made an attempt to visit the notorious Kim Won Hong who was at a detention center in Taiwan. The case of Kim, the South Korean national, who obtained Belizean nationality and passport illegally has been at front of immigration scandals. Today, Chang owned up to his actions, admitting that he DID try to pay Kim a visit, but he claimed he was duped into it.


Aldo Salazar, Chairman, Senate Select Committee


“Did you attempt to visit Won Hong Kim in a Taiwanese jail?”


Screen_Shot_2017-03-08_at_8.20.48_PMEric Chang - Former UDP Deputy Mayor


“Yes”


Aldo Salazar, Chairman, Senate Select Committee


“Why did you want to visit Won Hong Kim?”


Eric Chang - Former UDP Deputy Mayor


“Like I say in the, like the ambassador mention in the email a story is a long story. During the Summit I end up me the gentleman name Alexandro Young charge of Affairs of Honduras, during the Summit me and the Mayor meet him, during the Summit there is a lot of people and I end up meeting Mr. Young, after the Summit was finished I don’t exactly remember the date of course that, he calls me and told me that there is some potential investors which is the two Korean, they already schedule a trip to Honduras and they were also like to take opportunity to visit Belize as well if there is any business venture, opportunities.  He told me umm…those two Korean friend told him that there is a Korean get detained in the Taiwan Immigration Detention Centre and also is a Belizean, well I say fine, they asked me, Mr. Chang can you pay him a visit and see if there is any assistant you can offer him or assist him, to me it’s a common practise in Belize, am an official translator in court in Belize, am a translator for hospital, I do help a lot of people in lot of instance and assist where I can offer them to assist.  I thought at the time perhaps its Immigration Detention Centre let me see what he get himself into perhaps I can speak the language to help him to get attorney or whatever assistance he might need, up on the arrival at the Detention Centre, the Immigration officer spoke to me say Mr. Chang Deputy Mayor you know why Mr. Wong Hong Kim is here? I told them I don’t. I get this phone call from my friend who told me to see if I can assist here so I came.  They told me Mr. Chang this guy is not a good person he is not here for immigration offence, he has done a lot of things in Korea which is not good but bad things in Korea and as a born Taiwanese of course you hold your office in Belize right now, of course we look up if you can prosper of whoever it is we really don’t advise you to visit this guy, he is not a good person, we had a long conversation, I had a long conversation with immigration officers to get to detail and understand what happened and so therefore I drew my line I back off but yes I did make attempt, I was misled by Mr. Young told me that there is a guy that needs your help at detention centre.”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Mr. Yong, is he a diplomat?”


Eric Chang - Former UDP Deputy Mayor


“Yes he is a Diplomat from Honduras.”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“And this Diplomat walked up to you who were a stranger to him?”


Eric Chang - Former UDP Deputy Mayor


“At first yes”


Screen_Shot_2017-03-08_at_8.20.59_PMSenator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“And said to you, that there is a Belizean in prison?”


Eric Chang - Former UDP Deputy Mayor


“He didn’t walked to me as a stranger of course because we met during the Summit, which lasted quite long, the Summit is about ten days, so we’ve been seeing each other every day, we spoke to one another and we become friends, everybody become friends during the Summit.”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“So your friend now came to you, is that what you are telling us?”


Eric Chang - Former UDP Deputy Mayor


“Yes”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“And your friend tells you that there is a Belizean in prison and says that he thinks that you should go and see this Belizean?


Eric Chang - Former UDP Deputy Mayor


“That’s what he told me.”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“And you out of the goodness of your heart saw that that was a good thing to do?”


Eric Chang - Former UDP Deputy Mayor


“Yes, that’s correct”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“When you called the ambassador, why didn’t you inform the ambassador to go and look after the Belizean?”

 

Eric Chang - Former UDP Deputy Mayor


“Maybe it’s my neglect, I think that was something small, that was something small that I don’t have to tell the ambassador right away, maybe I go and visit the person first and find out what is the matter then I call because I will tell the ambassador hey there is some Belizean got locked in the detention center and then the ambassador will ask me why is the guy there and then…”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Mr. Chang, all of this is incredible, now I want to suggest to you, right that you are not speaking the truth, any Honduran diplomat would not know that if there is a Belizean in prison that they would call the Belizean embassy and inform the Belizean embassy not a deputy mayor at his Summit who has no accreditation in Taiwan.”


Chang also vehemently denied the allegations that he played the role of courier for Kim Won Hong’s fraudulent passport processed by Immigration Officials.


The third witness in today’s busy hearings in Belmopan is Lindsey Wade, who is accused of taking the visas from the Western border.  We’ll have that report in tomorrow’s newscast.

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