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Apr 7, 2015

Rawell Pelayo Is Back in Belize

Former F.F.B. executive Rawell Pelayo is at home tonight in Orange Walk a free man. He was deported by U.S. marshals on a flight back to Belize earlier today and handed over to the Belize Police Department.  Pelayo’s unexpected return follows a twenty-one month detention in a U.S. prison on suspicion of his involvement in drug trafficking.  The second vice president’s sensational arrest took place in July 2013 when he was detained by D.E.A. personnel in Houston, Texas.  Pelayo was part of a delegation from the Football Federation of Belize that was en route to Portland, Oregon where the Jaguars were partaking in the 2013 Gold Cup Competition.  At the time, F.F.B. President, Ruperto Vicente, would not comment on the arrest; however, News Five was made to understand that Pelayo’s visa application had been stalled longer than the standard time it took for the document to be processed.  When the group left Belize on July eighth, it transited through the George W. Bush International Airport in Houston where a connecting flight would land them in Portland.  But before Pelayo could legally set foot on U.S. soil he was escorted by law enforcement officers into an adjacent room where he was formally arrested and held pending drug-related charges.  Pelayo was later transferred to the Southern District of New York where he faced charges of Conspiracy to Transport Narcotics.  During the time he was incarcerated, U.S. officials seemingly failed to indict Pelayo on the federal offences.  We learned earlier today that Pelayo had reportedly been informed in November of last year that he would be extradited back to Belize, but that he was uncertain of his scheduled departure flight.  This afternoon, at the Queen Street Police Station, family and friends of the businessman gathered in anticipation of his release and when he finally emerged from the office he was spirited to a waiting vehicle.  We pressed Pelayo for a brief statement but he respectfully declined, deferring comment for a later date.  Of note is that Vicente recently attributed the organization’s accounting hiccups to Pelayo’s detention, stating on record that at the time he was nabbed he was in possession of F.F.B.’s financial documents.


Rawell Pelayo

Rawell Pelayo, Former F.F.B. Vice President

“Right now I need to get to my family because I haven’t seen them in a while.”



“How do you feel?”


Rawell Pelayo

“Good, good, good. Happy to be home. Nothing like Belize.”


Ruperto Vicente

Ruperto Vicente, President F.F.B. [File: March 20th, 2015]

“Yes, financially the federation is using the monies that we have to finance the national team program. We are still and continue to seek sponsorship for and the national team as well. But I understand the question of what will come next, because someone had said that B.T.L. put out their sponsorship. I must declare here that we have not gotten that from B.T.L. in writing.”



“Can you say how much?”


Ruperto Vicente

“Yes. I can tell you that. So far with this national team, we are over two hundred and twenty thousand dollars in preparing this team since November. When we took over the Federation, what was happening was that we had too many people handling the Federation’s money which was wrong on our part. When someone else was handling the federation’s accounts and checkbooks, so when we were preparing to produce our financial records, we could not because we found our self in difficulties with Mr. Pelayo because he had all the check stubs and the books. So we couldn’t tell what the checks were written for. When Mr Pelayo had it, I had asked him to bring them for me when he was travelling with me to the US and so when he was arrested, he had all of those with him and we couldn’t produce a proper financial report. But it’s not to say that our federation didn’t spend all that money on our national team because it is an expensive venture. As you all know, even after the world cup we still owe the players’ monies.”



“How much is the hole in the financing that these check stubs in Mr. Rawel’s suitcase account for?”


Ruperto Vicente

“I don’t have the exact number with me, but it was a huge amount.”


Since his arrest and detention, new executives within the Football Federation of Belize have been elected. And it is not known what became of the F.F.B. documents.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Rawell Pelayo Is Back in Belize”

  1. X-Ray says:

    Deported, deported; how could this person be deported, after he was legally in the USA via an official visa. He was kidnapped by the USA and then became a guess of that country. So, how come he became a deportee?

  2. CEO says:

    If Vicente and Pelayo are working together, Pelayo will now blame the US Marshals and no one will know what really happened to the money.

    If Pelayo is not part of the crooked dealings with the FFB money we will know what rally happened to the money; and the drama will begin!

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