Chinese men busted with fake nationality documents

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

The Belize Police Department is teaming up with the Social Security Board and the Immigration Department in a joint investigation of how a Chinese national ended up with a fraudulent nationality certificate this week.

Officer Commanding the Police Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB), Alejandro Cowo, explained that the Major Crimes Unit of the Department is working with the other agencies to ascertain how Yuanran Zheng, who came into Belize for the first time on Sunday, showed up in Belmopan with a fraudulent nationality certificate on Monday.
“The three agencies combined together are working together to see from where the certificate was obtained up to the point where it reached Social Security,” Cowo said.

Police arrested and charged Zheng along with his translator, Zheng Hui Lin, on charges of ‘uttering upon a forged document’ and attempting to use it to obtain another piece of identification. They pleaded guilty in the Belmopan Magistrates Court and were fined a total of $3,000 each.

Police also searched Lin’s Camalote home, as he has legally resided in Belize for several years. During the search, officers found other fraudulent Social Security documents. Social Security has indicated that Lin will be charged separately for trying to obtain a Social Security card with a false document.

Acting on suspicion, Social Security staff called the Immigration Department on Monday, to run a check on Zheng’s nationality certificate. The Immigration Department confirmed that the certificate was a fraud, because the Department had discontinued using that type of certificate due to its lack of security features and started using an updated one in May of this year.

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