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Two men caught with 130 thousand dollars Print E-mail
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Friday, 14 September 2018 00:00

Police have arrested two men following the discovery of 66 thousand U.S. dollars inside a vehicle. Taxi driver, Walter Jonathan Hercules, 35 and David Cruz, 25, were arraigned in Magistrate’s court on Monday September 11, where they were charged with two counts of money laundering and one count of concealment.

The two men appeared before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford with their attorney Leeroy Banner where they offered bail in the sum of 25 thousand dollars each and their case was adjourned until November 28.

Allegations are that on Friday, September 7, 2018 both men in Sandhill had in their possession,   $66,000.00 US dollars, $728 Belize currency notes and $15 in Quetzal and that such property was the proceeds of a crime, and that they knew or had  reasonable knowledge that those properties were proceeds of a crime.

In court, the prosecutor, Inspector Egbert Castillo had no objection to bail being offered to the men.  He only asked the magistrate to set conditions to the men bail which she did.

They were both ordered to surrender all their travel documents; neither Benque resident can apply for any other travel documents without the court’s permission; and they both must report to the Benque Viejo police station every Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m., and 6:00 p.m. Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford also told the accused men that neither of them can be arrested and charged for any other offenses whilst out on bail or their bail will be revoked and they will be sent to jail until their case is tried.

Both men were able to meet bail and are due back in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on November 28, 2018.

On Friday September 7th at about 6:45 a.m. police, conducting a vehicle check point on the Phillip Goldson Highway in front of the Sandhill Police Station, stopped and searched a black Toyota Corolla car that was traveling  in a northern direction.  The vehicle was being driven by Hercules, a taxi driver of Benque Viejo. He was accompanied by David Cruz 25-year-old, a driver also of  Benque Viejo.  As a result of the search, officers discovered a total of $65,000.00 US Currency in different compartments of the vehicle.

A search conducted by the police on the driver, led them to discover $1,000 US dollars, along with BZ$348.00 and $15 in Quetzales. Police then asked Cruz if he had anything illegal to declare and he said no but during a search of the vehicle in both their presence, police found US$40,000.00 in a space underneath the area of the steering wheel. A further search led to the discovery of $24,000.00 found in a hidden compartment underneath the radio of the car.

At a press conference held on Tuesday police say that residents from western Belize frequently travel on the Philip Goldson highway to conduct illicit activities liked to drug or firearm trafficking.