Accused ATM scammers get off

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Three persons from Cancun, Mexico who were accused of stealing monies from ATMs in the Orange Walk and Corozal districts have seen the charge of theft dismissed against them. The trio spent seventeen months in prison in Belize and on their latest court appearance on Friday, August 9, 2019, they were given the good news. Joscan Jafet Uriostequi, a 21-year-old driver, was accused along with Belen Isai Uriostequi, a 26-year-old travel agent representative, and her common-law husband, Leonel Isaac Peralta Rodriguez.

In court, the prosecutor, ASP Egbert Castillo, informed the court that the charges of theft were being dismissed from against the trio. No reason was given for this change. They were represented by attorney Leslie Hamilton who did not wish to comment on the outcome.

They were initially represented by attorney Kevin Arthurs at their first arraignment before Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Monday, January 22, 2018. It is alleged that both Joscan Uriostequi and Leonel Rodriguez stole $300 each from an Atlantic Bank ATM in Corozal on January 19, 2019. They both pleaded not guilty. Belen Uriostequi was accused of stealing $500 from an Atlantic Bank ATM in Orange Walk and also pleaded not guilty.

It was alleged that sometime between December 21, 2017 and January 18, 2018 the trio stole a total of BZD $10,700 from Atlantic Bank ATMs.  They were all denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison, as at the time they were deemed to be flight risks. Fast forward to over a year later, the trio were all smiles as they exited the courtroom after being freed.