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Police say Mexican Nationals released

The police also gave an update on the case of the two Mexican nationals, forty year old Manuel Villanueva and fifty year old Gonzalo Albelardo Herrera Castilla, who were busted in San Pedro Town on money laundering and customs charges. Castilla, who is from Chetumal, Quintana Roo is also wanted there on local charges. However, on Ambergris Caye, he was fined $1500 Belize dollars by Customs personnel for unaccustomed goods. The police said he was also arrested and charged by the Financial Intelligence Unit for laundering $29,000.

ASP Alejandro Cowo: “On Thursday morning San Pedro Police along with Customs partnered personnel they conducted a search at the residence of Gonzala Abelardo Herrera Castilla 50 years Mexican National of Chetumal Quintana Roo. As a result Police and Customs found some uncustomed goods and as a result he was detained. He was charged based on the Customs Act. He paid his fine and there after immigration checked his status. He was also charged by immigration and he paid his fine. There was another Mexican national along with him by the name of Manuel Villanueva a 40 year old of the same Chetumal Quintana Roo. He was charged by customs for falsifying a document. He also paid his fine and the both of them are out at this moment.”

Reporter: “What about the $29,000 estimated cash. That matter was then FIU and the matter was brought to the court and I believe it was withdrawn from the court.

Reporter: The matter of the boat as well is the boat registered in a Belizean name?”

ASP Alejandro Cowo: Yes the boat is still confiscated by the Customs Department.”

Reporter: “I understand that one if not both of these men are wanted by Interpol for crimes committed in their home country.”

ASP Alejandro Cowo: “Yes we are aware that one of them is wanted in Mexico however we have to understand that they cannot be detained in Belize if we don’t have no any apparent reason to detain them. Yes if there is a warrant abroad we have to go through a process before his detention is done. There is a process that needs to be followed before anything comes to his arrest.”

The FIU had taken custody of the cash Castilla was carrying for further investigation.