A Guatemalan man, who claimed to be Belizean using stolen documents was arraigned in the Belize City magistrate’s court on criminal charges on Thursday, October 25 and sent to jail for two years.
Carlos Mauricio Rossal Perez, 61, somehow managed to get possession of a Belizean passport, birth certificate, social security card, voter identification, border permit and driver’s license all belonging to Naim Matar.
Immigration officials say they became aware of the identity fraud on October 1, 2012, when Perez, claiming to be Matar, visited the Immigration Office in Belize City to renew Matar’s passport.
He paid the fee of $50.00 for the renewal, and on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, Perez returned to retrieve the new passport.
During the waiting period his application form, which aroused suspicion, was scrutinized and Perez was asked to return at 3:00 p.m., that same day.
Scrutinizers used the extra time to check with the department of Vital Statistics and learned that Naim Matar had two brothers and one sister. Perez had assured immigration officials that he was an only child.
Officials found that the real Naim Matar is now living in Chicago. They had located Matar’s brother, Jamil, who resides in Orange Walk.
Immigration authorities caught up with Perez at the Western border in Benque Viejo, and detained him. He was travelling in a black Mitsubishi Montero.
When confronted he admitted that he was not Naim Matar and showed the authorities his Guatemalan passport, dated October 10, 2005, which expired two years ago.
He also produced his Guatemala driver’s license, which had also expired.
In court this week a magistrate ordered Perez to pay fines amounting to of $10,500, or spend 7 years in prison for making false of citizenship. Perez, who could not pay the fine, will serve 2 years in jail, because his two sentences are to run concurrently.