MoneyGram turns over new leaf and gets new operator
Earlier this year the local MoneyGram agency was closed down in a huge money laundering and identity theft scandal. Six persons have been charged in the multi-million dollar scam and both cases are still before the courts. The Financial Intelligence Unit was called in to investigate and had the full cooperation of parent company. Notwithstanding, a new page was turned today when MoneyGram International resumed full operations in Belize and opened a new agency under a new operator. Caribbean Regional Manager, Steve Higgins, says that they are twice as vigilant this time around.
Steve Higgins, Caribbean Regional Mgr., MoneyGram Intl
“What we’re going to be doing now is to be opening up the market to send transactions once more so that the immigrant population—residents in Belize who depend on us to send money home, they will be able to do so. Also, Belizeans who have business also, students for whatever reason for remittances, legal reasons that they will be able to do so; to send money overseas. We realize that there is a need in Belize so this is why are back, this is why we’re here. And just to mention that we’re worked very closely with your Central Bank, with your F.I.U., because we never liked to see our company and our business being used for illegal purposes. When we gathered that something was wrong, we shut them down immediately because, as I said, we work closely with the authorities here and we knew that it was just going to be a matter of time before we got back here in Belize and we’re looking forward to this launch this afternoon.”
“Who will be the operators of this new subagent?”
“The Toledo Teachers Credit Union—I’m sure you know of the Toledo Credit Union. They will be our super agent and they will be having sub-agents working with them as well. How money transfer works, is that if there is a sender from overseas sending money here and it cannot be collected here, the sender overseas will receive a refund of their money. So there won’t be anybody losing money so to speak. And if you are sending from Belize outbound, you would be told there is no service here so nobody would be losing money. But in terms of regaining ground after what happened, we worked with the authorities and we both—I cannot of course say what our new measures are but there are measures and we’re vigilant, twice as vigilant and so we expect that things will go very well in Belize.”
MoneyGram is the second largest money transfer company in the world with just under 120 thousand agencies in 180 countries.