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  • Another Contraband Bust In Orange Walk

    Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:00
  • Department Of Transport Cracks Down On Traffic Violators

    Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:00
  • Carribbean Tourists Behind Bars For Drug Trafficking

    Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:00
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    Friday, 23 June 2017 02:09
  • PM Rejects IMF Recommendation To Increase GST To 15%

    Friday, 23 June 2017 02:13

Accountant Patrick Tillett had a tough time convincing the Senate Select Committee members that he was being completely honest about his very profitable visa service business to acquire visas through an immigration agent who was paid $3,000 to simply take an application into the Immigration Department for processing. What the Committee members could not understand is why anyone would pay such a large sum for a procedure that, if the proper process was followed, would not cost more than the normal fee which for Chinese nationals was $2,000. Senator Courtenay suggested to Tillett that he was covering up illicit acts.


Screen_Shot_2017-03-09_at_8.15.03_PMSenator Dr. Carla Barnette – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“How did you that it was six thousand dollars the going rate for like if this was your first, second transaction?”

 

Patrick Tillett - Former City Council Financial Controller


“I guess I inquired.”


Senator Dr. Carla Barnette – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Ok so that is the general market rate for procuring VISAS outside…”


Patrick Tillett - Former City Council Financial Controller


“No, no, no, no outside."


Senator Dr. Carla Barnette – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“That is where am going but you were outside you never went in yourself."


Patrick Tillett - Former City Council Financial Controller


“Not outside”


Senator Dr. Carla Barnette – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“You were literally outside, you sent somebody in for you.”


Patrick Tillett - Former City Council Financial Controller


“No but…”


Aldo Salazar – Chairman Special Senate Select Committee


“But the most attractive inference to me is that people get value for money, you run a business; you are an intelligent person you are educated person you run a business you expect to get value for money so you had to have expenses for get value for two thousand dollars and simply delivering a document, three thousand is simply not getting value for money but the most attractive inference is that, that sum of money was paid because the intention is that well you do what you have to do to get these VISAS and that’s why it cost three thousand dollars.”


Patrick Tillett - Former City Council Financial Controller


“If the idea was that you bring me any VISAS then we wouldn’t have disregarded the VISAS so it clear shows that we knew and we expected that the person to do something genuine even if the person came back and say you know what it has been rejected fine, we would have paid him for his services I mean it wouldn’t have been may be a full service but we’ve had paid him something for his effort…”


Aldo Salazar – Chairman Special Senate Select Committee


“So why would you have paid him everything up front?”


Screen_Shot_2017-03-09_at_8.14.01_PMPatrick Tillett - Former City Council Financial Controller


“No I didn’t pay everything up front, I paid, I think, I don’t remember how the payment was done but I would suspect you would pay half and then half that just make sense.”


Aldo Salazar – Chairman Special Senate Select Committee


“You keep saying that you suspect everything that you did…”


Patrick Tillett - Former City Council Financial Controller


“Yeah but I don’t remember I would say that I don’t believe this is what I did.”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“If you had check the application forms everything was in order, you pay somebody three thousand dollars, are you not surprised that you ended up in a situation where what you got was something irregular because it can’t be three thousand dollars to go to Belmopan, it seems to me for some reason whether the application form was incomplete, there was some reason why you were not going to get those VISAS so somebody was paid three thousand dollars expecting that you would get regularly issued VISAS with the stamp and everything but it couldn’t go through the official channels so hold this money however you get it bring it to me it turns out that money was clearly spent out of a three thousand paying somebody to procure those VISA foils, they put it in there but it didn’t had the proper stamp, the problem with all of it and why we have a difficulty in your role is that then you stand the loss so you must have known up front that am taking a risk I loss I take the lick?”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“You just told this Committee under oath that you did not want to be the face, you did not want to be involve in Immigration because of the history of Immigration for twenty years, and less than five minutes later you are telling this same Committee that you are walking into Immigration to deal with an Immigration matter?”


Patrick Tillette –


“Yes”


Senator Eamon Courtney – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“You are calling this credible?”


Patrick Tillett - Former City Council Financial Controller


“Yes because what I expected did not occur so I felt that I need to be involve I didn’t want to be involved, right but if something was wrong then I said, it was something unusually wrong, if the issue was let say the Chinese people would need a translation I wouldn’t have gotten involved I would simply arrange for UB to do a translation and let the agent handle that but when the VISAS did not match what they looked like I felt that I should go myself and verify what is going on, that is different kind of error because it was an unexpected error.”


Patrick Tillett - Former City Council Financial Controller


“Listen to me, somebody perpetuated a fraud got me involved and I am as angry as any other person because I don’t understand a person would steal government two thousand dollars per VISA when I gave them the money, paid them handsomely even less than what I was getting and then to do this and steal the government portion.”


Tillett also told the Committee that he took a $30,000 loss when he reimbursed his Chinese visa clients. He added that when he realised he had been duped, he accepted the financial consequences. The Senators refused to accept Tillett’s reasoning.


Senator Dr. Carla Barnette – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Mr. Tillette, like the rest of my colleagues am finding it hard to believe the story that you’re laying out for us, twenty four thousand dollars is an addition to a house, it’s a car, it’s not a runner to deliver VISA applications to Immigration it doesn’t add up literally doesn’t add up.”


Senator Elena Smith - Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Financially because you can afford to loss twenty four thousand dollars would you consider yourself to be financially well off?”


Patrick Tillett - Former City Council Financial Controller


“I guess that is too big, too vague I don’t know what to say.”


Senator Elena Smith - Member Special Senate Select Committee


“You know I sit here and I listen and one saying comes to my mind, I don’t want to be rude or I don’t mean to be rude, but the only thing that crosses my mind right now is the saying that goes like this, fool dih talk but dah no fool dih listen and I’ll have to end with that.”

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