Trio charged over undeclared currency

Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2016. 10:11 a.m. CST

9. CRIMEBy Aaron Humes: 2 Belizeans and a Mexican businesswoman are separately charged for failing to declare currency above the prescribed level before leaving Belize on a flight to Panama.

42 year old Maria Jose Del Valle Rosado, one of the accused, we understand is the wife of the late Miguel “El Espanol” Alonzo, who was shot and killed in Chetumal last year whilst socializing at a restaurant with others.

She was accompanied by Corozal residents 25 year old Nair Arjenis Balam, employed in the Commercial Free Zone, Corozal; and 36 year old Wilfrido Catzim, a cane farmer of San Narciso Village, Corozal District.

Rosado was found in possession of US $137,130 in cash; Balam held US$9,900 and Catzim held US$9,880 and smaller amounts of Mexican pesos and Belize dollars Personnel of the Financial Intelligence Unit made the bust under the 2008 Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Act on Tuesday.

Rosado was charged with two counts for attempting to leave Belize with more than 20 thousand Belize dollars in cash and failure to declare an amount above $10,000 Belize to the FIU. She pleaded not guilty with attorney Senior Counsel Magali Marin Young; Catzim and Balam also pleaded not guilty for the offense of failure to declare when leaving Belize with more than $10,000.

And while the FIU prosecutor, Leni Ysaguirre had no objection to bail being granted to the trio, Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser had the issue of bail as it relates to Rosado who is a non-Belizean.

Despite submissions by Marin-Young that her client has business in and travels back and forth to Belize, necessitating the use of her passport and negating suggestions that she is a flight risk, Rosado had to surrender her passport as a condition of receiving bail of $50,000 and a Belizean surety for the same.

Rosado must report to the Santa Elena/ Free Zone police substation every Tuesday and Thursday of the week. A police team will have to accompany her to Chetumal and the Unit will arrange for her to formally exit Belize, then re-enter and stay at a home in Corozal during the case to avoid a charge of illegal entry.

She is expected to travel to the free zone but since she has residency, she can and will use her residency card to do so as her passport will be remain with the court after today’s trip. In the case of Catzim and Balam, their bail was offered in the sum of $8,000 each plus two sureties of $4,000 each.

Trial of the case is planned for June 13, 2016.

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