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#400970 - 02/24/11 09:26 AM Contraband Cargo Intercepted
Marty Online   happy
Orange Walk Customs and Police made a major bust of contraband liquor early this morning.

277 Cases of Miller Genuine Draft, Coors Lite and Heineken along with two cases of Johnny Walker Black Label whiskey were seized when a police and customs operation intercepted two vans just outside Orange Walk.

It happened at 3:50 am just before the roundabout south of Orange Walk Town. According to information from he customs department police spotted two suspicious vans with city plates coming down the highway after 3:00 am. Within ten minutes police and customs scrambled quick response teams which set up an intercept outside Orange Walk.

A suspected lookout vehicle was spotted passing through the area and then minutes later, the two vans appeared. Police drove a pickup across the road, the vans screeched to a halt, as customs personnel shot out the front tires. The men in the vans ran off into the bushes and escaped.

But that wasn't the end of it. A few minutes later, the lookout vehicle circled back looking for the vans. Police arrested the two men inside and they are currently detained pending charges.

But what about the vans? Well, it turns out they are rented from a local company. But with the drivers gone into the bushes, under customs law, the registered owner of the van faces charges and fines.

The fine is calculated to be $127,000 dollars based on the retail value of the alcohol which is $42,000 dollars.

Customs intelligence suggests that the contraband was coming from the Corozal Free Zone and may have been destined for San Pedro.

Channel 7

#401227 - 02/27/11 09:49 AM Re: Contraband Cargo Intercepted [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy


The Northern Enforcement Unit of the Be lize Customs Department seized about $36,000 worth of contraband beer and whiskey when they stopped two vans in a joint operation conducted with Orange Walk Police around 4:00 Wednesday morning February 23rd, 2011.

The vans, a Ford 350 passenger van and a Club Wagon, were found to contain 277 cases of Miller Genuine Draft, Coors Lite and Heineken beer, and two cases of Johnny Walker Black Label whiskey, purchased in the Corozal Free Zone.

Under Belize’s Customs law, anyone caught attempting to evade paying Customs duties shall be liable to pay a fine of triple the value of the contraband goods, which in this case would be over $108,000.00

Those charged for possession of the contraband cargo might have been the drivers of the two vans, but law officers have been unable to catch up with these two gentlemen, who high-tailed it for the trees as soon as their vans screeched to a halt after the Customs officers shot out their tires.

Statutory Instrument #44 of 2005 allows for the Customs Department to charge the registered owner of the vans which, Customs and Police investiga tions have confirmed, were rented from a Belize City based rental and tour company.

The Reporter has learned that Police and Customs are presently seeking the individual who rented the two vans, telling the rental company that the vans would have been used to run tourists to Chetumal.

A police patrol first observed the two suspicious vans travelling from Corozal in an easterly direc tion, and relayed this information to the Orange Walk Police who, along with Customs officers, set up a road block to intercept the two vehicles near the first roundabout in Orange Walk Town.

The officers manning the road block first saw a Jeep Cherokee, which appeared to be a scout vehicle sent ahead to determine if the road was clear for the vans to continue on their journey. But the smugglers’ luck ran out and they ran straight into the road block. The Police used one of their pickup trucks to block the highway.

The contraband liquor was destined to be sold at a reggae concert in San Pedro, but now a source close to the investigation has informed The Re porter that the liquor will be destroyed.

The Reporter

#401234 - 02/27/11 10:06 AM Re: Contraband Cargo Intercepted [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
The comment on the law above is darn scary - you rent a car to somebody and you are responsible for how they use it?

Hopefully the business is insured against such an event.

And shame on the smugglers.

#401246 - 02/27/11 11:10 AM Re: Contraband Cargo Intercepted [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
That law is in place as a function for someone to cop to the crime and get charged. Same law applies to households, cars, etc. Everyone gets charged and one person steps forward to take responsiblity-usually the youngest or the one with the cleanest record for best sentencing options. Even applies to taxi drivers.
Belize based travel specialist

#401801 - 03/05/11 05:52 PM Re: Contraband Cargo Intercepted [Re: Katie Valk]
ron Offline
What happens if the rental agent is a corporation? Are the officers libel or the person who actually rented the vehicle?

#401831 - 03/06/11 11:39 AM Re: Contraband Cargo Intercepted [Re: Marty]
Judyann H. Offline
I've read something about this with regard to someone illegally possessing a handgun in your home....The homeowner and all persons present can be charged with the crime.....
My friends call me Judyann


#401849 - 03/06/11 03:28 PM Re: Contraband Cargo Intercepted [Re: Marty]
Barnacle Offline
iv'e wondered if one of our guests gets busted smokin dope in their rental cabana, if they would haul me off too?
and this is a reason i don't pick up hitchhikers anymore. if at a checkpoint the hitcher emptys his illeagle 'what-not' into the bed of my truck,, i'm heading for the pisshouse!

#401898 - 03/07/11 08:26 AM Re: Contraband Cargo Intercepted [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Barn about ten years back some police found a match box of pot in a room that was being rented in a house I was visiting. Nothing to do with me and a person I hardly knew. It cost me $20,000 Belize dollars and 6 months of going back to court time after time until i got a magistrate to declare me innocent, but i still feel punished, no one gave me my money back or apologized.
The 'Under the same roof' law is very screwy.
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#401914 - 03/07/11 10:08 AM Re: Contraband Cargo Intercepted [Re: Marty]
Barbara K Offline
and why would anyone smuggle in Miller Genuine Draft or Coors Lite anyway?


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