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Feb 26, 2004

Internet gambling company has funds frozen

The Belize Government today froze the bank accounts of an Internet gambling operation based at the Data Pro compound near the Burrell Boom cut-off. According to the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Keith Arnold, under the terms of a treaty between Belize and the United States of America, the U.S. Department of Justice asked Belize to freeze the funds of Carib Sports Book and Casino Ltd. and related entities, due to what it claims is strong evidence that the company and its principals are engaged in money laundering. After examining evidence provided by the U.S. agency, Arnold, acting under recently amended local legislation, placed a temporary freeze on the company’s offshore accounts at Atlantic International and Provident Bank as well as its local account at Alliance Bank. A hearing in the Supreme Court will be held Friday to determine if the freeze should be continued beyond three days. Employees of Fulton Data, one of the affected companies, called News 5 this afternoon to complain that the move would put what they claimed are eighty Belizean employees out of work. When we asked to speak to one of the company’s principals to ask about the nature of the alleged illegal activities, we were informed that would not be possible. According to Keith Arnold, the freeze would not prevent the company from bringing in funds from abroad to meet its payroll.

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