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May 15, 2014

8 persons picked up for fake documents in immigration crackdown in Caye Caulker

A Guatemalan couple is believed to be behind a scam providing fake nationality documents to Central American nationals; they were busted in an immigration crackdown and arraigned on Wednesday even though they were being pursued by immigration personnel when another Guatemalan national applied for a social security card with documents that belonged to a deceased Benque Viejo resident. We also reported in our newscast that a group of persons were detained in Caye Caulker with fake Belizean nationality documents which, as it turns out, are linked to the Guatemalan couple. The group reportedly obtained fake nationality papers from Allfredo Gonzalez Marcos and Marleny Elizabeth Castellanos. Included in the group is the brother of Castellanos, who is the alleged mastermind behind the scheme. Today, the group of eight was brought to Belize City to face charges, but because of the voluminous paperwork involved, they will be formally arraigned on Friday. They are seven Guatemalan nationals: Juan Carlos Franco Castellanos, Carlos Sosa Contreras, Francisco Reyes Ruiz, Merna Ortega Grajalez, Floridelma Juarez, Abis Gonzalez Carrias, Teresa Magana, and Salvadoran national, Cruz Reynaldo Reyes.  The Guatemalan and Salvadoran nationals were picked up between Tuesday and Wednesday of this week in Caye Caulker where they were all living.   While immigration has levied several charges against them for using documents they are not entitled to, their status has not yet been ascertained. She and her common-law-husband, who have three born Belizean children, pleaded guilty to using documents they are not entitled to and were remanded to the Belize Central Prison. As we said, Castellanos is believed to be mastermind behind the scheme and it is not known how many persons paid up to two thousand dollars each to obtain nationality and other Belizean travel documents. 

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