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Feb 2, 2010

Belizean/American busted at P.G.I.A. with undeclared cash…

Michael McKoy

Michael McKoy

They say ignorance is bliss but in one man’s case it was also costly.  Belizean American, fifty two year old Michael McKoy lost twenty thousand dollars when he landed at the Philip Goldson International Airport with a load of cash he did not declare upon his arrival.  McKoy who is visiting home, boarded a plane from Los Angeles to Belize with over fifty grand US in his possession.  But he claims he did not know that he was required to declare the money with the Custom’s Department. So today he chose to plead guilty to Failure to Declare More than the Prescribed Amount of Cash.  The Financial Intelligence Unit took McKoy to court, which then imposed a fine of twenty thousand dollars which he has to pay or face three years imprisonment.  According to FIU Attorney, Mikhail Arguelles, at around ten forty five on Monday, Senior Customs Officer, Ian Haylock handed over a total of a hundred and two thousand dollars in cash and cheques over to police.  He also handed over the customs declaration form in which McKoy did not declare the money.  Attorney, Ellis Arnold, who represented McKoy, told the court that while his client was charged under the Money Laundering Act, the court must take into consideration that he pleaded guilty to the offense and therefore saved valuable time.  Under the act, Failure to Declare Cash is accompanied by a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars.

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4 Responses for “Belizean/American busted at P.G.I.A. with undeclared cash…”

  1. Leroy says:

    Why charge someone who had no bad intent? Seems unjust to me. Sounds like taking advantage of someone who is ignorant.

  2. indy says:

    what going on with Belize these day to take someone hard earn money not fair.

  3. julio says:

    If this person pleaded guilty I personally do not think he had bad intention,like his attorney stated this case could have prolonged and cost the tax payers a lot of money.The GOB need to have some leniency on Belizean/Americans encountering problems when entering Belize,because maybe he was not aware or joyuos going back home especially if its the first time going back home.

  4. Mike says:

    This ia an abomination- The Belize Consulate personnel in Los Angeles are inept and not skilled to inform the community on money matters. I was informed by Belize Consulate personnel that declaration is not required unless the US$10K threshold was exceeded not BZ$10K. Albeit a complex matter, the Belize Customs, Immigration, Police, etc are corrupt organizations that allow Arms Dealers to bring guns and ammunitions to Belize without much any sanctions. I witnessed these transactions while in Customs/Police custody at the PGIA. The question that begs to be asked is why? Why can these authorities allow the gun runners a free haven whilst squeezing a honorable hard working man. The Eastern Division Police station jail is horrible and sports the most inhumanne and deplorable conditions in a developing nations. Why? Why is the media not helping to fix these human rights violations?

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