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Oct 23, 2013

2 Cuban nationals and their Mexican handlers are nabbed for human trafficking

While the lucrative visa hustle you have just heard about, involves Chinese nationals, there are other nationals who also use Belize as a springboard to the United States. On Tuesday afternoon, two Cuban nationals and their Mexican handlers were nabbed in San Ignacio. The Cubans travelled all the way to Ecuador to make their way to Belize and their final destination, the U.S.A.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The overnight detention of a pair of Cuban men, who entered Belize illegally near the western border on Tuesday morning, is part of an ongoing sting being carried out by San Ignacio Police to crack down on a human trafficking ring believed to be operating in the downtown area.  A suspicious sports utility vehicle, seen circling in the vicinity of Columbus Park shortly before midday, caught the attention of several officers outside the San Ignacio Police Station.  When the Cadillac was pulled over and searched, police discovered that neither of its four occupants were Belizeans.  In fact, the driver and his wife are both Mexican nationals, while their passengers are of Cuban extraction.  Inspector Reymundo Reyes:

 

Reymundo Reyes

Insp. Reymundo Reyes, Deputy O.C., San Ignacio Police Formation

“Yesterday morning, sometime around 11:40 a.m., as a result of information received, a white Cadillac car bearing Mexican license plates was stopped right in front of the San Ignacio Police Station.  The persons were asked to produce documents.  Both the driver and the passenger, who are husband and wife, Mrs. Delia Iglesias, fifty-two-year-old Mexican national and Vladimir Gonzalez, a Mexican also, fifty-one-years-old they produced their Mexican passports which when inspected it showed that they are legally in the country of Belize.  They came through the northern border.”

 

The couple, it is strongly believed, was acting as handlers.  San Ignacio Police surmise that Gonzalez and his wife entered the country legitimately and drove the hundred and sixty mile stretch to rendezvous with their charges.

 

Insp. Reymundo Reyes

“Miguel Rodriguez and Henry Reyes, both twenty-nine years-old of Cuban nationality, they presented their passports but when inspected it showed that it had no stamp as to which port of entry they came into the country of Belize.  So, as a result, all four persons were detained and the Immigration [Department] was informed right away.  At this present moment, Miguel Rodriguez and Henry Reyes are or would be charged for illegal entry.  Meanwhile, Mrs. Delia Iglesias and Vladimir Gonzalez are being questioned and [it is] being looked at as a case of human trafficking.”

 

If that belief is indeed confirmed, the route taken by the Cuban immigrants to head north to the United States is rather lengthy and unconventional.  Their passports reveal that Rodriguez and Reyes traveled from their home country to Ecuador and then on to Guatemala.  Their entry across the western border was unlawful.

 

Insp. Reymundo Reyes

“Based on documents and interviews that we personally conducted we could say that this is an ongoing trade.  Both Mrs. Iglesias and Mr. Gonzalez on their passports it shows that they have been into the country more than once.  They do have connections with people here in the western side of the country.  As of recent, today we have an investigation being carried out by immigration personnel and police will be rendering their assistance with respect to a third person who has been detained for similar activity.”

 

That individual whose identity hasn’t been disclosed, was also nabbed downtown in the area of Hudson Street after being observed driving this vehicle, parked adjacent to the SUV, as if he was totally lost.  Upon arrest, he reportedly removed a SIM card from a cell phone and proceeded to chew and swallow its remnants.

 

Insp. Reymundo Reyes

“To our understanding at this present moment, there is a group of about ten persons of whom we believe that some are already within the San Ignacio area.  So that is why are about to conduct an operation, a joint operation and checks within some of the hotels.”

 

According to Inspector Reyes, while both Cuban nationals will be charged for entering Belize illegally the department is still in the process of determining what charges, if any, will be brought against the Mexican couple. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “2 Cuban nationals and their Mexican handlers are nabbed for human trafficking”

  1. Al says:

    This is what happens to you when you try to over ride our “legal” way to enter and leave our country. Don’t you know you have to be invisible and have our own “legal” minister carry your phantom self to all our departments? Psshtt. You Mexicans. You need to do your homework. Trying to circumvent us. How dare you.

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