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#387931 - 09/16/10 02:47 PM Belizeans Caught In Scary Bus Jacking In Mexico
Marty Offline
The air corridor between Cancun and the United States has become a godsend for many Belizeans during these tough economic times. Hundreds if not thousands of Belizeans have taken advantage of cheap airfares travelling through the Mexican tourist mecca.

But now those cheap tickets are coming with a price. For three Belizeans making their way home yesterday thru the state of Quintana Roo, an armed holdup of the bus they were travelling in seemed too heavy a price to pay.

Twenty eight year old Nick Pollard Jr., a Marine Tour Guide of Placencia told Seven News, the harrowing ordeal of having a gun pointed at him along with a knife at his neck, has him thinking twice before he travels through Mexico again. Pollard says two hours after leaving Playa del Carmen last night bound for Chetumal, he and an almost full busload of passengers were rudely awakened by two masked gunmen.

Nick Pollard Jr.
"It was after 12 midnight so I was sleeping, I think most people on the bus was sleeping and then I think it was about 2 o' clock in the morning when I heard commotion in the front of the bus. I was sitting around in the middle area and I was still kind of shaky like waking up and I thought it was people coming on the bus to sell stuff and when I actually opened my eyes, I noticed a mask gunman right in front of me speaking Spanish and I don't really speak Spanish but I assumed they were asking for money and whatever else they could get. The first instinct was to go in my pocket and grab what I could and give it to them. I had cash in different pockets front and back and in my wallet and didn't give them the one in the wallet first, I gave them the cash that was in the front pocket and they worked their way through the bus."

Jim McFadzean
"How many gunmen are we talking about?"

Nick Pollard Jr.
"We had 2 inside the bus and apparently 1 outside. I didn't see the one outside but 2 of them had guns and one had a knife."

Jim McFadzean
"Both were wearing full ski masks?"

Nick Pollard Jr.
"Yeah they were wearing full black, full ski mask - you couldn't see anything."

Jim McFadzean
"So what happened after you gave them the cash?"

Nick Pollard Jr.
"After I gave them the cash they continue to work their way down thru the bus and they actually came back to me and put a knife to my throat and ask me if I had anything else and then they actually search my pockets; they actually put they hand in my pockets, the front and the back and that when they took my wallet and found remaining cash that I had and they took everything. And then they continued again up and down the bus just harassing people trying to get what they could and then they came to me a third time and I don't know if they thought I had more stuff and they saw a chain around my neck, they popped the chain and took away my watch and then they left."

The armed holdup lasted approximately 5 minutes. According to Pollard the area where the bus was forced to stop, had no cell phone service and so none of the passengers were able to alert the police, leaving him to believe that the gunmen craftily planned and executed the holdup with that detail in mind.

In a check with Belize's Foreign Ministry by telephone this evening, an official there told Seven News they had no information to share about the incident.

However, in a telephone interview with Mexican Embassy spokesperson, Marcelino Miranda, he told us that while the incident is isolated, both the government of Quintana Roo and Mexican Federal police are treating it seriously:

Marcelino Miranda, Mexican Embassy Press Officer
"This is an isolated event. It is not symptomatic, the busses that run from Chetumal to Cancun normally don't have any disruption or any problem. It is an isolated event and but in any case the Embassy of Mexico and the local authorities are deeply concerned about this incident and they are going to tighten the security in order to guarantee the safety of Belizeans and other foreigners travelling in Mexico."

Jim McFadzean
"Should Belizean now have to worry about travelling through Cancun?"

Marcelino Miranda, Mexican Embassy Press Officer
"No, Belizeans shouldn't be worried. The Quintana Roo state is one of the safest states for tourist in Mexico, because it's an important tourist sector in Mexico. Federal and local police have tightened the security; they shouldn't be worried. There is a special program by the police in order to provide safety and as we know the statistics about crime incidents in Quintana Roo is one of the lowest for tourist in Mexico."

CHannel 7

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#387949 - 09/16/10 04:37 PM Re: Belizeans Caught In Scary Bus Jacking In Mexico [Re: Marty]
Voxman Offline
Oh great! I have friends traveling from Cancun to Belize that way in 2 weeks. Sounds like plane fare may be worth the extra dough! Not good.... Thanks for the heads up.

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#387950 - 09/16/10 04:45 PM Re: Belizeans Caught In Scary Bus Jacking In Mexico [Re: Marty]
Amanda Syme Offline
This happens from time to time. Thankfully the robbers don't hurt anybody. Most folks are of the opinion that you are typically okay with the daytime runs and that the nighttime runs are a little more vulnerable.

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#387991 - 09/17/10 12:19 PM Re: Belizeans Caught In Scary Bus Jacking In Mexico [Re: Marty]
Inplub Offline
I always travel in the day and never had a problem, I have done this route dozens of times.

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