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Mar 20, 2019

Alleged ATM Scammer Luis Marroquin to be Released on Bail

It made headlines back in mid-January when a group of South Americans was arrested and taken into custody here in Belize but tonight that case is quickly falling apart.  A trio of men, including Peruvian national Luis Marroquin, was nabbed in Dangriga on January seventeenth, under the suspicion that they are ATM scammers.  During the bust, police were able to recover a device which is believed to be used in the fraudulent withdrawal of money from various electronic cash machines.  Since appearing in magistrate’s court a few days later and being charged jointly for preparation of a crime, Marroquin has been sitting in a cell at the Belize Central Prison.  He was the only one to be denied bail when they appeared before Justice Herbert Lord on February eighth.  But tonight, Marroquin’s freedom is imminent, that’s because Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lyn Vidal has determined that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with a case against him.  Marroquin was initially detained along with Chilean national Juan Alfonso Espinosa SaaVerdra and Colombian national Edgar Jhovany Vargas Vaca.  This evening, attorney Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley told News Five that there was nothing to indicate that his client had any involvement in the commission of a crime.


Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, Attorney for Luis Marroquin

Richard Bradley

“Luis Marroquin had visited Belize from Peru, socializing with foreigners from Chile in Dangriga where the attention of Mexican license plates on two vehicles was drawn to the attention of a police officer who became suspicious.  It’s not one of those cases where the vehicles were acting suspicious, it’s just that he saw two license plates.  In any event, it turned out that he searched the vehicles and came across electronic equipment.  As a consequence, he took possession of the vehicles and had the three persons escorted to the Dangriga police station where eventually, after being detained for a long time they were charged on a single charge of preparation for a crime, being that presumably the electronic matters are capable of, I don’t know, maybe hacking into an ATM machine.  There is no evidence whatsoever that Luis Marroquin had anything to do with those equipment or tools or electronic items.  He had his laptop.  He had his computer.  Nothing there to indicate that he had anything to do with the crime.  He was jointly charged and being a foreigner, the magistrate’s court did not grant him bail.”

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