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Apr 6, 2016

Trio Charged for Not Declaring Over Quarter Million Dollars

Three persons, a Mexican national and two Belizeans, were busted at the departure lounge of the P.G.I.A. on Tuesday. Today, they were taken to court on separate charges after they were found in possession of a significant amount of undeclared cash, over a quarter million Belize dollars. The trio was about to leave Belize to Panama. The first to be arraigned was forty-two year old Mexican national Maria Jose Del Valle Rosado, the purported wife of Ernesto Alonzo de Miguel, who was shot and killed at a restaurant in Chetumal last November.  She had in her possession, one hundred and thirty-seven thousand U.S. dollars. Rosado was in the company of two Belizeans: twenty-five-year Nair Arjenis Balam, an employee at the Corozal Free Zone and thirty-six-year old Wilfrido Catzim, a cane farmer of San Narcisco Village.  Balam was found in possession of nine thousand nine hundred U.S. dollars while Catzim was allegedly found in possession of nine thousand eight hundred and eighty U.S. dollars.  The trio was detained by the Financial Intelligence Unit for failing to declare the cash. In the case of Rosado, she was charged for possession of prohibited cash while attempting to leave Belize, which is more than ten thousand U.S. dollars or twenty thousand Belize dollars in cash which is contrary to the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act.  Rosado was additionally charged with one count of failure to declare the money to the F.I.U. She pleaded not guilty to both charges.  Since her attorney, Senior Counsel, Magali Marin Young had just been retained, an adjournment was granted. This afternoon, when the matter resumed, Rosado maintained a not guilty plea for both charges.  Catzim and Balam also pleaded not guilty.  And while the FIU prosecutor, Leni Ysaguirre had no objection to bail being granted to the trio, Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser had concerns as it relates to Rosado who is not a Belizean, but holds permanent residency.  Attorney Young submitted that Rosado travels back and forth and needs her passport and to secure a fifty thousand dollar bail, she was able to show the court that Rosado is not a flight risk. She is the director of Alonzo’s Brothers Co. Ltd. and has land in the Free Zone. Still yet she will have to surrender her passport and report to the Santa Elena Free Zone Police Substation twice a week.  In the case of Catzim and Balam, their bail was set at eight thousand dollars each. The trio will be back in court on June thirteenth, 2016.

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