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Nov 4, 2019

Illicit Casa de Cambio Raided; Big Sums of Cash Found in Various Currencies

Police say that last week Thursday, a joint team of cops, FIU and Belize Tax Service personnel conducted a joint operation at a store called Almacen Shanti in Corozal Town. A search of the business led to the discovery of a large quantity of monies. Police say that included among the currencies, were over a hundred thousand US dollars and one point six million pesos. Some of the monies were undeclared and those were seized immediately by the Belize Tax Service. The remainder will be assessed and a determination will be made moving forward. Today, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams briefed the media on the operation. He says that the proprietors were operating a money exchange business without the valid permit and will be charged for that offence.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“That search resulted in the discovery of different denominations of money. There was a sixty thousand US currency; another seventy-four thousand US currency; one hundred and eighty-one thousand Belize dollars; one point six million pesos; three hundred and fifty Canadian dollars; there was one hundred and twenty-two thousand rupees which is Indian currency; couple hundred quetzal. From the investigation conducted so far, it reveals that the proprietors were engaged in the exchange of money – casa de cambio without a permit – so income tax confiscated the seventy-four thousand US because that was concealed and they failed to declare it. With respect to the rest of monies, they will be charged for operating a casa de cambio without a permit and then FIU will be dealing with the FIU related offences and so the monies are currently in the custody of the police pending the outcome of that investigation. This is a part of our continued effort with other agencies, which includes customs, immigration and FIU, to go after those persons who we believe are involved in white collar crime; evading taxes; looking at money laundering offences. These operations are going to continue with a view to see how we can those persons as well as those involved in the illegal landing of planes across the country.”


Andrea Polanco

“Sir, what led to the search at that establishment; a tip off or you have been monitoring them for a while?”


Chester Williams

“We have been monitoring, yes.”


Andrea Polanco

“Has it been determined that all of the monies are from the illegal exchange service or maybe some are from other sources?”


Chester Williams

“We are looking at that at this time.”

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