An investigation is underway to determine if any Belizean public servants assisted Rafic Mohammad Labbon Allabou, an alleged Hezbollah operative, arrested in Mexico last Saturday, to get several Belizean documents.
Hezbollah, literally “Party of Allah” or “Party of God,” is a Shi’a Islamic militant group and political party based in Lebanon.
It reportedly receives financial and political support from Iran and Syria, and its paramilitary wing is regarded as a resistance movement throughout much of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
The United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Israel classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, in whole or in part.
Rafic was apprehended in Merida, Yucatan on Saturday, September 8th, using a Belizean passport and a Belizean driver’s license bearing the name of Wilhem Dick.
The Reporter spoke with Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of National Security Delroy Cuthkelvin, who said that police investigations at the Vital Statistics Unit revealed there was a Wilhem Dick born to David and Judith Dick (both now deceased) from Shipyard, Orange Walk District.
Wilhem Dick, registered March 8th, 1967, died in April of that same year, but Rafic obtained a copy of the birth certificate for Wilhem Dick on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012.
More interesting is the fact that he was able to acquire the birth certificate, a passport and a driver’s license in only two days, August 29 and 31.
The driver’s license bore a Belmopan address of 20 Halfmoon Street, and according to Cuthkelvin, it had the number 12751. Upon cross referencing with the licensing office they confirmed that no 12000-series licenses have been issued, in fact the highest license number to date is 11950.
The Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) of the Belize Police Department is investigating the matter. All departments involved have been asked to submit the relevant hard copies of the files they possess; however, according to Cuthkelvin, none have been forthcoming as yet.
Justice of the Peace Juliana Arana, whose house, as Cuthkelvin put it “incidentally burned down” over the weekend, was the one who signed off on the passport application form. She is also being questioned, along with workers from the Immigration Department and Vital Statistics Unit.
Given that the process required for a first time pass port requires two forms of identification and the imposter of Wilhem Dick had none, serious questions are being raised about the procedures that were followed that led to this series of events.
Police investigation at the Vital Statistics Unit also uncovered that the person applying for the birth certificate of Wilhem Dick spoke privately with the supervisor at the department, Mr. Gilroy Guzman.
Guzman refused to speak to police until he consulted with his lawyer. After which, he gave a statement saying that when he spoke to the individual applying for the certificate, he produced a social security card, and that’s why he (Guzman) allowed the application to go through.
The Reporter has been informed that the case file has been handed over to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration of pending charges. Rafic was also caught with Yasser Safa and former Belize City mechanic George Abdallah Elters – who are both Belizeans living legally in Mexico. Mexican authorities has since released.