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100 Grand stolen from Atlantic Bank by 3 Mexicans Print E-mail
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Thursday, 25 January 2018 00:00

Three Mexicans, 26 year-old Joscan Jafet Hernandez, 26 year-old Belen Hernandez Uriostegui, and 31-year-old Leonel Isaac Rodriguez Peralta, are at the Belize Central Prison after police charged them with theft of money from the Atlantic Bank. Police caught them with over 60 different credit cards, all belonging to non-Belizeans, and it is believed that these cards were stolen, and that these three defendants were using them to withdraw money that does not belong to them. It is believed that they have withdrawn about $100,000 from the bank’s ATM’s.

Police say that on Friday, January 19, all three were intercepted in the Corozal District with a “substantial amount of Mexican currency”. The Atlantic Bank had reported to police that these persons two men and a woman, were seen withdrawing different sums of money from their ATM’s within the country. This is believed to have happened over a period from November 2017 up until last week, when they were detained by police.

It has the elements which appear as though this was a credit card fraud operation, and so, the cops moved in to charge each defendant with theft. Jafet was charged with theft for $300 in cash, which he allegedly withdrew from an Atlantic Bank ATM Branch in Corozal Town. Hernandez was charged with theft of $500, which she allegedly withdrew from the Atlantic Bank ATM Branch in Orange Walk town. Rodriguez was charged with theft for $200, which he allegedly withdrew from the ATM Branch in Corozal Town. All incidents for which they are charged, are alleged to have happened on the day they were intercepted by police.

Police investigation into the matter led them to search their apartment in Ladyville, where investigators found several computers and other electronic items. Currently, the cops are trying to retrieve whatever information they can off these devices.

They were arraigned on the theft charges before Chief Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Monday, January 22. Their attorney, Kevin Arthurs, made extensive arguments to Chief Magistrate Frazer in his attempts to convince her that his clients should be granted bail. After consideration, however, Chief Magistrate Frazer was not convinced, and she denied the three Mexicans bail. They have been remanded until March 21.

It appears that these are only preliminary charges that these defendants are facing. After the arraignment, they were taken back into police custody for further investigation. Additional charges may be incoming while Atlantic Bank continues to reconcile its money, which the bank’s representatives believe these people took out. The Bank’s ATM’s they are believed to have visited to make this fraudulent withdrawals include Atlantic Bank in the Corozal Free Zone, Corozal Town, Orange Walk Town, Belize City, San Pedro, Caye Caulker, and San Ignacio.

The case has similar elements to the Bulgarians, Halid Aptula, and Georgi Petrov, who were sentenced to a year in jail after they were caught and charged for a similar operation, which they ran against the Belize Bank.