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Apr 25, 2013

Don’t hate me for being wealthy, Italian busted for excess cash

Antonio Velardo

Authorities in San Pedro Town temporarily detained, charged and then fined a European national after he failed to declare over twenty-two thousand U.S. dollars in cash.  On Wednesday, Customs Officials, Immigration and San Pedro Police carried out a joint operation and detained thirty-five year old Antonio Velardo, an Italian national and forty-seven year old Levente Arangos, a Swedish national who had arrived in a catamaran. The men had arrived on Tuesday night and docked at a local docking facility on Ambergris Caye. Authorities later found out that while the men entered legally, they failed to make a declaration on the substantive amount of cash in their possession. The vessel, Aventura, was searched and the stash of cash was found. Both men were then taken to the San Pedro Police Station.  This morning, the Financial Intelligence Unit was called in as part of the investigation.


Arangos told authorities that one point five thousand U.S. dollars were his, while Velardo took responsibility for the remaining twenty point five thousand U.S. dollars. Velardo was charged with a single count of failure to declare funds. Velardo, accompanied by his Attorney, Godfrey Smith, appeared before the San Pedro Magistrate Court before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez where he pleaded guilty. After Smith cited a similar case, Magistrate Rodriguez imposed a fine of five thousand Belize dollars. Velardo paid the fine and was free to go. Velardo, a wealthy European realtor, said he was in Belize to look at potential business opportunities.

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18 Responses for “Don’t hate me for being wealthy, Italian busted for excess cash”

  1. Storm says:

    I wonder what business they do using large amounts of cash in Italy? I wonder how the new arrivals chanced to call Godfrey Smith out of all the lawyers in the Jewel? Quite convenient!

  2. jimmy says:

    Twenty grand is no bigger than one regular leaf-wrapped tamales. mein, you’re that wealthy and couldn’t find someone in Naples to build you a proper stash compartment? on a yacht? sh*t, they build them in Cali(fornia) in them SUVs, not even the lapd can find them, not even with dogs. Now mister velardo has a huge dollar sign on his back (what he was trying to avoid in the foist place) and every no-goodnik across the country is plotting on how to get some. What do you think BZNinCALI?

  3. not again says:

    Like usual there goes more money down the drain. Why they dont go to all the bars all over the country and detain and charge all the guatemalan women that are prostitutes there. They are taking the money out of Belize. Like this we will always stay the way we are.

  4. Ricky Malthus says:

    In Belize this species declaration law is used to rob everyone. So if some one brings in more cash than the law allows. bring them into compliance. The GOB doesn’t have to act like it is a criminal intent on shaking down the ignorant , particularly, the foreigner. We are so civilized , you think ?

  5. Twosweetinez says:

    That’s not the right way to look at potential business opportunities in Belize.Take your corrupt @ to another country we’ve got too many corruption in the Jewel.

  6. aldo says:

    20 thousand is a lot for the average man but to a businessman on business on a catamaran it is chum change.He is burning thousands just in fuel alone. It is even laughable at how people perceive it as A LOTOF MONEY.. How much land can you buy in san pedro with 20 grand?

  7. just the truth says:

    legal shake down, belize is anti development.

  8. Paco Smith says:

    It sounds to me as though the authorities were tipped off as to his impending arrival.

    There are some very good points made, concerning the issue (e.g. Was it by happenstance concerning his choice of attorney? or Maybe there is an earlier association?) The comment from “jimmy” is very true. Also, I found the link provided by “Steve” to be rather revealing.

    All in all, I wonder to which coffers his fine will be sent?

  9. ceo says:

    Chum change, lot of cash, what ever the heck it is to you. By the way I agree that $20 K (USD) is not a lot in terms of a boad. Actually this is about 2 fill up of the gas tanks however, the law is he needs to declare it and he did not.

    He may not have paid his hush money. Think about it the cops do not have xray eyes so someone must have tipped them off or they know the crook.

  10. Seletar says:

    Good investigation, Steve! Maybe the press and government investigators with FIU can follow up on the hot trail you showed them.

    But will they?

  11. Bear says:

    Aldo, why do you assume it was land he wanted to buy for cash? There are other products for which those involved just don’t want an inconvenient paper trail.

    It bears watching . . . closely. We have enough other foreign troublemakers here, don’t need another one.

    In an “above the board” business deal, he could simply have wired money to his attorney, or opened an account here to receive it. Maybe there’s no fire here, but there’s at least a little smoke, especially when you add in the IRA terrorist connection discussed in the article Steve found.

  12. Neville says:

    If we want foreigners to invest or spend lots of money here, maybe the limit for declaring cash needs to be increased, maybe doubled. Not enough to help money-laundering, but enough to encourage the wealthy to bring $$$ and spend them.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It is sad that we half starving animals in Belize think that 20k is a big deal, that is why we cant go no further in our life. Which rich person will want to come to this jewel with these animals acting like that, thats why soon we wont be killing out each other , we will be eating out each other. what a shame this a”" hole repressive slavery system is.

  14. Simone says:

    This money laundering bs is starting to be ridiculous. We need money to come into Belize. How idiotic of FIU-no business sense.

  15. Belizean 2 D Bone says:

    That is why investors coming to Belize are drying up.Everyone who visits the !@#$ hloe gets robbed or hussled. Hey the police will even theif the small change out of your pockets in Belize.

  16. Bill says:

    It is obvious. They came to buy rosewood! And that would be a good thing??!!

  17. Ricky Malthus says:

    Let’s be rational about all this Money Laundering, Terrorism, etc.,. The IRA are/were freedom fighters fighting to liberate Ireland from English land theft and colonialism just as the Palestinians are freedom fighters fighting to liberate their land from European( Neo-Nazi) occupation. Any intelligent human being can see/discern this. The genesis of the FIU was US idea to peer into all Belizeans livelihood; and Central bank has taken this idea to that level of maliciousness and corruption just like how the two parties took the IMF’s idea of privatization to enrich their families and political cronies. I hope you geniuses can see the truth and ramifications from these statements. Finally, don’t be brainwashed that everyone is a terrorist because he/she doesn’t believe in the type of governments that exist worldwide and which reflect the Rothschild worldwide control.

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