Authorities foil suspected human trafficking attempt

By Michelle Sutherland
Staff Reporter

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Belize Immigration Department were called into action last Wednesday after Orange Walk police stopped a cab, that was ferrying three undocumented Guatemalan nationals and a load of unaccounted US currency.

On September 6th, the FIU confiscated approximately US $6,000 in cash and an additional US$10,000 after a patrol sting on the Philip Goldson Highway led Orange Walk police to search a red four door Mazda bearing a Cayo licence plate.

Authorities say that the vehicle was driven at the time by 21-year-old Belmopan resident, German Reyes, accompanied by 31-year-old Marcialito Cuestas who had in his possession $6,000 in US currency.

Additionally the vehicle contained three Guatemalan nationals namely, 36-year-old Omar Castaneda, 31-year-old Johnny Velasquez, and 34-year-old Julie Chacon, who were all handed over to Immigration officials after they could not produce official travel documents.

A further search of the vehicle led authorities to discover US$10,000 in cash, which was hidden in the trunk of the car. No-one inside the vehicle was able to give account of the cash, therefore it was confiscated by the relevant authorities.

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