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Aug 24, 2017

John Zabaneh Counts Cost of Fight to Get Off ‘Kingpin’ List

Embattled businessman John Zabaneh has been cleared of the kingpin designation that was given to him and two others, including Dion Zabaneh, by the United States Treasury a few years ago.  According to the former banana grower, his family has virtually lost everything in the wake of being blacklisted.  His once thriving agribusinesses, Maya King Limited, Mid-south Investments, Belize Chemicals and Crown Paradise Enterprises, have all gone under since they were barred from doing business with any American company.  Since his name has been cleared from the U.S. OFAC list, Zabaneh is speaking out.  He tells News Five that the fight to exonerate himself was a difficult battle which has ended in a Pyrrhic victory.

 

On the Phone: John Zabaneh, Businessman

“First of all, you know, I am still trying to compose myself.  This has been five years of banging and working hard and as you well know, I was constant from the beginning, unwavering in everything I said.  I met the press without a single sheet of paper and nothing, no notes, nothing, no pointers or anything like that because I don’t need to remember anything, so to speak.  Unwavering, despite the whole world believing I was guilty as charged, losing all business associates and everybody that we did business with for many years in commerce.  Everybody cut we off, our EPZ status, we lost our concession, everything was worthless… Well you know the banana farm is gone.  We were the second largest contributor to social security, we could not even get a loan from Social Security fi try do anything else and it has been just a fight, we never had the finances to get more topnotch attorney in the States at the time so we fought it ourselves.”

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