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#463079 - 04/26/13 04:48 AM An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,648
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Yesterday in San Pedro, Police customs and Immigration boarded a catamaran vessel called the Aventura which was docked at the Belize Yacht Club. On board they found, Italian Antonio Velardo, and Swede Leventa Arangos along with twenty two thousand US dollars. No customs declaration had been made for the money so it was confiscated and the two men were taken into custody.

Today, 35 year old Velardo was taken to San Pedro Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez and charged for failure to declare funds, according to the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act.

Velardo – who was represented by attorney Godfrey Smith - pleaded guilty and told the court that he did not know that a regulation existed that he had to make such a declaration.

Magistrate Rodriguez sentenced him to pay a fine of $5,000 forthwith, which he was able to pay, and she also noted that there was no intention to deceive authorities which was apparent in relation to this case. Both the police department and the FIU collaborated in the prosecution.

The Swede was the boat captain and was only responsible for a small amount of the money, so he was let off without charges. Velardo is written up on the internet as an Italian multi-millionaire in real estate investment and, according to our sources, seems to be interested in retiring or possibly seeking safe harbour in Belize. A puff piece written up on his company VFI in 2009 says the company, quote, “in three years has gone from zero to a sales revenue of €100 million Euros.”

Channel 7


Italian Antonio Velardo fined for failure to declare funds

Authorities in San Pedro Town temporarily detained, charged and then fined a European national after he failed to declare over US$22,000. On Wednesday April 24th, Customs and Immigration Officials and San Pedro Police carried out a joint operation and detained 35 year old Italian National Antonio Velardo, and 47 year old Swedish national Levente Arangos, onboard a catamaran. Apparently the men had arrived the night before and docked at a local docking facility on Ambergris Caye.

Authorities later found out that while the men entered legally, they failed to make a declaration and thus proceeded to conduct an operation. That led authorities to some US $22,000 onboard the ‘Aventura.’ As a result, law enforcement agencies detained the two and took them to the San Pedro Police Station.

On Thursday April 25th, both the Central Bank and Financial Intelligence Unit were called in as part of the investigation. Arangos told authorities that $3000 Bze was his while Velardo took responsibility for the remaining amount $41,000 Bze. As a result, authorities later charged Velardo with a single charge of failure to make a declaration (failure to declare money).

Velardo, along with his Belizean Attorney Godfrey Smith, appeared before the San Pedro Magistrate Court before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez, where he pleaded guilty. After Smith cited a similar case in his client’s defense, a proportionate fine of $5,000 Bze was imposed. Velardo was able to secure his fine and as a result was set a free man.

Velardo, a wealthy European realtor, said he was in Belize to look at potential business interest.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


Don’t hate me for being wealthy, Italian busted for excess cash

Antonio Velardo

Authorities in San Pedro Town temporarily detained, charged and then fined a European national after he failed to declare over twenty-two thousand U.S. dollars in cash.  On Wednesday, Customs Officials, Immigration and San Pedro Police carried out a joint operation and detained thirty-five year old Antonio Velardo, an Italian national and forty-seven year old Levente Arangos, a Swedish national who had arrived in a catamaran. The men had arrived on Tuesday night and docked at a local docking facility on Ambergris Caye. Authorities later found out that while the men entered legally, they failed to make a declaration on the substantive amount of cash in their possession. The vessel, Aventura, was searched and the stash of cash was found. Both men were then taken to the San Pedro Police Station.  This morning, the Financial Intelligence Unit was called in as part of the investigation.

Aventura

Arangos told authorities that one point five thousand U.S. dollars were his, while Velardo took responsibility for the remaining twenty point five thousand U.S. dollars. Velardo was charged with a single count of failure to declare funds. Velardo, accompanied by his Attorney, Godfrey Smith, appeared before the San Pedro Magistrate Court before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez where he pleaded guilty. After Smith cited a similar case, Magistrate Rodriguez imposed a fine of five thousand Belize dollars. Velardo paid the fine and was free to go. Velardo, a wealthy European realtor, said he was in Belize to look at potential business opportunities.

Channel 5


#463114 - 04/26/13 07:04 AM Re: An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 391
Nobody You Know Offline
.
Nobody You Know  Offline
Absolutely ridiculous.That was nothing more than traveling money. If I were him I'd reconsider my Belizean investment strategy...

#463116 - 04/26/13 07:11 AM Re: An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,305
Katie Valk Offline
Katie Valk  Offline
I'm not allowed to enter the US without declaring US$10,000.00. Is that absolutely ridiculous too? Afterall, its my spending money.


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#463120 - 04/26/13 07:34 AM Re: An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 316
robvee Offline
.
robvee  Offline
These rules for travelling are so out dated, but whats even more amazing in USA you can only open a $ account that includes businesses doing biz abroad How crazy is that

#463127 - 04/26/13 08:46 AM Re: An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro [Re: Nobody You Know]  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Homero Offline
.
Homero  Offline
I guess I don't understand the benefit of carrying that much cash for travelling money. I realize there isn't a bank on every corner in Central America, but surely you can gain access to accounts from a bank account, credit card, etc. Then again, if this guy is a multimillionaire, then this is probably the equivalent of me keeping $100 in my sock for emergencies.

Perhaps I am cynical, but it seems to me that the main benefit of carrying that kind of cash on a boat is so you have enough "hand butter" to grease palms and make business transactions go faster. Either way it doesn't inspire confidence when you don't declare having such a large amount of money on your person. On the other hand, what caused the authorities to board the boat in the first place?

#463129 - 04/26/13 08:51 AM Re: An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 316
robvee Offline
.
robvee  Offline
If your sailing a largish boat around half the world and needing to stop for provisions and youve got his kinda money i would think $25k is about right. The money was on the boat not on his person i believe

#463131 - 04/26/13 09:00 AM Re: An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro [Re: robvee]  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Homero Offline
.
Homero  Offline
Sorry, I meant on his boat. Although the image of someone trying to conceal $25k in cash on one's person is amusing to me. "Why are you wearing that heavy coat? It's 90 degrees out!"

As for provisions, fair enough. I'm a land lubber and am not familiar with the ins and outs of seamanship. I also admit that my time in the U.S. has conditioned me towards a cashless economy.

Still, I would think anyone who travels would know about customs declarations including monetary instruments.

#463132 - 04/26/13 09:02 AM Re: An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 316
robvee Offline
.
robvee  Offline
Maybe he heard you need bullet proof vests here , all wadded out LOL

Last edited by robvee; 04/26/13 09:17 AM.
#463133 - 04/26/13 09:39 AM Re: An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,109
bobcat bill Offline
bobcat bill  Offline
or bullet proof briefs

#463134 - 04/26/13 10:05 AM Re: An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro [Re: bobcat bill]  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 10,966
klcman Offline
.
klcman  Offline
Something smells like moldy money.

He cannot have entered the country legally AND NOT have known there was a limitation on cash. It is a very clearly asked question on the Customs forms.....


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