14ymedio, Havana, August 22, 2021 — Dozens of Cubans have been scammed by a network that offered advice for naturalization in Mexico. The organization operated from the regional headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cancun and, according to the documentation published by the newspaper Luces del Siglo, was directed by Víctor Hugo Sulub Chi, an official who works as a Program and Project Supervisor in the federal delegation of the agency in Quintana Roo.
Foreigners, mostly Cubans, were asked for 5,000 Mexican pesos ($250) for each document that was allegedly issued by the National Security Commission of the Secretariat of Governance (Interior) to guarantee that they had no criminal record, one of the necessary papers for the process of obtaining permanent residence.
When these documents were detected as false, the authorities canceled the applications, but the scammed people were also put at risk: even though they did not know about the scam, they could be accused of trying to falsify official documentation.
The Mexican newspaper interviewed two Cubans affected by the network, who explained the modus operandi. One of them, a doctor from Camaguey, said that he had paid 10,000 pesos for the processing of “federal criminal records” for his mother and himself. Although this procedure can only be initiated by the interested party or their closest relatives, the victims were asked for a copy of their passport, residence sheet, and birth certificate, along with the money.
Later, the network gave the migrants the documentation so they could present their request for a letter of naturalization, but this went unanswered.
“He told me that this procedure was only done in Mexico City, and he offered to help me complete the procedure, since he told me that he would go to a meeting in Mexico City and that he could go to arrange and collect them. He asked me to deposit 5,000 pesos with him,” says the other person interviewed, a Cuban nurse who later met with the official to collect what had been agreed on.
“I never distrusted the arrangement carried out by Víctor Hugo Sulub Chi. He had my complete confidence because as a public servant of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I thought it was part of the advice he provided me in his capacity as an official. I never thought or guessed that the procedure he offered me was illegal,” she says.
According to the testimony of the victims, they were asked to be patient, and that if they received an email, they should not open it but notify the official. In addition, they were offered the name of a lawyer who would tell them what to do in case of problems, but most of them suspected that they were being deceived and chose not to contact him.
In the article, Luces del Siglo warns that these practices are common and circulate frequently through social media, as was recently proven by a Facebook account, on which illegal services were offered.
The page, with the name “Expert Translator Monterrey, Official Translations,” advertised: “Are you a foreigner going to naturalize and you lack the Certificate of Criminal History in Federal Matters? We can handle it! Don’t spend money on air fare, hotel, taxi, and food to go to Mexico City. We’ll handle the procedure and deliver the legal requirements to you. Get informed or visit us or send us an email.”
Translated by Tomás A.
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.