Home Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte has told reporters that her Ministry and the government will deal with any unlawful activity found in the Immigration Department.
“If it is found that persons within the Department facilitate any activity that is unlawful then the Ministry and the government will deal with the situation,” the Minister asserted.
Her comments followed reports of an investigation after revelations that a private company facilitated pricey passport applications.
A viral social media post showed a $650 receipt from the paralegal service agency The Briefcase.
Manager Cindy Alexander-Gabriel acknowledged that her company issued the receipt.
But Alexander-Gabriel explained that the receipt may not have been for a passport application alone but for other services, including purchasing a passport form and photographs and the services of a Justice of the Peace.
She declared that the company was doing nothing illegal or fraudulent.
For her part, the Minister of Home Affairs told reporters that if someone has a private company that Saint Lucians patronise, it is their choice.
“What is of interest to the government is what happens in the Immigration Department, and I will concentrate my efforts and energy in that area,” Albert-Poyotte stated.
“The point that was raised about different companies charging persons for passports, once it is a legal entity, the government will not engage in that,” the Babonneau MP said.
“But we will explore what is happening at Immigration to find out if there is any illegal activity facilitating something that is not acceptable and creating undue stress for the public,” Albert-Poyotte told reporters.