Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018. 11:14 am CST.
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By BBN Staff: On Tuesday night, Guatemalan officials busted a Belizean businessman, along with a Guatemalan national, in Melchor de Mencos with two (2) AK 47 rifles, ammunition, drugs, and thousands of dollars in assorted currencies.
Belizean, Francisco Javier de la O Duarte, 33, and Guatemalan Aolibama Mengibar were both detained when police raided a couple properties in neighbouring Melchor.
The men had in their possession, the 2 rifles, 75 rounds of ammunition, 2 ounces of marijuana and a couple thousand dollars, mostly in Quetzal, Belize and US currencies.
Guatemalan authorities also found 3 computers, 12 cellular phones and a 2 external memory drives.
Duarte is a well-known businessman from Benque Viejo del Carmen operating a cigarette import business inside the Free Zone at the Western Border.
Due to the high import taxes on cigarettes in Guatemala, cigarettes are in high demand by Guatemalans and has become a very lucrative business for Duarte.
Breaking Belize News spoke to family members who claim that the firearms are licensed in Guatemala and that the currency in their possession was well within the legal limit.
Duarte is also known to have at least 1 other firearm licensed to him in Belize and this was confirmed by local authorities.
According to Duarte’s family, their primary concern is the 2 ounces of marijuana that was found when the raid was conducted.
Meanwhile in Belize, police reacted quickly to Duarte’s detention and launched an investigation to see if Duarte is involved in any illicit activities in Belize.
BBN has been reliably informed that Belize police raided Duarte’s home, and that of his mother, in Benque on Thursday of this week. However, we could not confirm if anything incriminating was found.
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