7 News Belize

How Did Citizen Kimís Picture End Up In System?
posted (March 15, 2017)

But, the passport machine's security features were breached for the Won Hong Kim Passport application. That one was clearly fraud and forgery perpetrated to get the South Korean fugitive a passport that he didn't qualify for in any way.

First off, he never set foot in Belize, and for a passport application, all applicants must present themselves in person to take an original photo at the Immigration Office. Citizen Kim couldn't have done that because he was in a detention centre in Taiwan.

Yet, somehow, his picture ended up in the passport system, which then allowed for the passport to be printed. The conclusion is that somebody managed to use the passport system to take a picture Won Hong Kim's South Korean passport which ended up on his Belizean passport. So, can the system be manipulated for corrupt ends like that? That's what the Senate asked Rodolfo Bol, and here's how he answered:

Hon. Mark Lizarraga - Business Senator
"A photo was entered into the system, how was this possible if Mr. Robinson should have taken the picture of Citizen Kim?"

Rodolfo Bol - Former System Mgr. Immigration Dept.
"I don't know how it would be possible but the system will require to take a picture-"

Hon. Mark Lizarraga
"No I'm asking you from a technical, you said to take a picture, did he just take a picture of, what did he do, how could he do it?"

Rodolfo Bol
"Well the system, when you open the system, you only have two options, camera on and capture and save, basically that's what they have."

Hon. Mark Lizarraga
"So how could he take a picture of this person, they hang it in front? That's what he would have to do, he can't scan it in."

Rodolfo Bol
"There is no option for scanning in the system."

Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee
"That is something that fascinates me as well."

Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett - UDP Senator
"The auditor general quotes you that yes a picture can be scanned into the system, so you didn't say that?"

Rodolfo Bol
"I did not say that because if you look at the system, I can guide you through the system, I can actually show you there. When you open the passport system, they don't have access to nothing, they don't have access to word, they don't have access to excel, there is nothing, on the system there is nothing."

Hon. Aldo Salazar
"I think we'd want to see that but I just want to get this clear because I think all of us are eager to clarify this because the auditor general said that you said that  you could scan an image into the system. Is that absolutely impossible?"

Rodolfo Bol
"Absolutely impossible not to scan."

Hon. Aldo Salazar
"There is no way you can manipulate the system, you can plug in a wire somewhere, there is no way you can do that?"

Rodolfo Bol
"No. Yes a scanner can connect to it and that's for the sole purpose of scanning the signature and that only becomes activated when you reach a window for scanning a signature. When you have the window to capture a photo, there is no option for scan, there is no option to turn on the scanner, there is nothing like that."

Hon. Aldo Salazar
"So as the IT manager, I want your professional opinion. How could the picture of somebody reporting to be Wong Hong Kim or an old picture of Wong Hong Kim- how could that have been entered into the system to create a passport for him? I'm not asking you to guess because you're an expert, you work with this system, I want your opinion, I want you to think because it was done, it's not if it could be done, it was done. Either that or the passport was manipulated afterwards, I don't know but apparently a passport came out of the system with Wong Hong Kim's image on it."

Rodolfo Bol
"Also on the report because I did mention this to the audit team. We, Ms Marin, Minister Hulse and myself, we did a test, I believe it's here mentioned and we tried to do a picture of a picture per say and we did tests with Ms. Marin present and Minister Hulse and actually it's on the system. We played with it and we came up with something and we were able to save an application like that and so how did they actually do it? I don't know but Ms. Marin and Minister Hulse and myself tried like I said-"

Hon. Aldo Salazar
"But did it work?"

Rodolfo Bol
"Yeah we managed to capture something very dark, not the best picture but we did try to and it's on the report and I did mention this to the auditor general about this."

Hon. Aldo Salazar
"So Wong Hong Kim's passport information should still be on the system?"

Rodolfo Bol
"Yes it should still be there."

Hon. Aldo Salazar
"His picture should still be on the system as well?"

Rodolfo Bol
"Everything that was captured should be there."

Hon. Aldo Salazar
"We can know the date when it was captures and who was the operate on the date when it was captured?"

Rodolfo Bol
"Yes."

Hon. Mark Lizarraga
"We have that, it was Erwin Robinson."

Hon. Aldo Salazar
"But I want to know, I know that is the information we have but what I want to know that could it have been captured on a previous day or during the night or something like that- because this sounds like something you have to take time to do, you can't just hold a picture, you need to manipulate the system. I'm not asking you to guess, what I want to know is, is it possible that an image could have been saved into the system on a previous date for use on a passport?"

Rodolfo Bol
"It would be recorded on the database the time and date it was taken."

Hon. Aldo Salazar
"So the date of that picture is the conclusive evidence that was the date that image was taken? That's what I want to know."

Rodolfo Bol
"Yes it would be in the database, yes."

So, as you saw, Bol said that Immigration Officer Erwin Robinson's user access to the Passport system was used to introduce the bogus picture of Won Hong Kim. We note that Robinson has faced a tribunal from the Public Services Commission, and he was restored to his position as a public officer. It might look like a smoking gun, with Robinson apparently caught red-handed, but it's not so simple. We'll show you why in tomorrow's newscast.

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