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Sep 11, 2018

Benque Residents Charged for Money Laundering US$65,000

David Cruz & Walter Hercules

The Police Department may have intercepted yet another illegal drug activity on Friday. Word to News Five is that the department received a tip on the movement of two Benque Viejo residents, who were in possession of a large quantity of money. The men were heading to Orange Walk when they were nabbed at a checkpoint with sixty-five thousand U.S. dollars, stashed away in various parts of the vehicle. Thirty-five-year-old Walter Hercules and twenty-five-year-old David Cruz were travelling in a Toyota Corolla car when they drove up to the checkpoint where police waited for them. Interestingly, the men have chosen to remain silent and have not disclosed why they were in possession of the large sum of US currency. They have both since been charged with two counts of money laundering and one count of concealment. Assistant Superintendent of Police Alejandro Cowo says that the Financial Intelligence Unit is also dealing with the case.

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“Police were conducting a checkpoint at the Sand Hill Police Station on the Phillip Goldson Highway. They intercepted a vehicle that was driven by Mister Walter Jonathan Hercules and was accompanied by Mister David Cruz. Initial search of the vehicle inside of the panel of the dashboard led to the discovery of an amount of U.S. dollars in various denominations and a further search in the gear shifter led to another amount. After the search was concluded, police found a total of sixty-five thousand U.S. dollars in different denomination in the vehicle.  Once it comes to money laundering the money is kept as evidence. I know that it is the Financial Intelligence Unit; normally they open an account where that money is stored so that if in case after the trial depends on what the magistrate or the judge orders, they cannot claim that they lost any interest so that money is kept in the bank. And whilst it is banked, if any interest is deserved, it is given to them. So that money is kept in an account by the Financial Intelligence Unit.”

 

Reporter

“Have they stated any licit purpose for which they had this cash?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“No.”

 

Reporter

“Have they explained why the cash was concealed in such a way?”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Well you know every person has a right and they remain silent; that is what they told the police.  Benque residents traverse the northern highway very much; they have been suspected to be involved in drug trafficking, trafficking of firearms and other illicit substances. Hence the reason that it was alerted the police and police intercept the vehicle at the checkpoint.”

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