John McAfee, computer programmer and founder of the antivirus software bearing his name, was recently arrested in Belize, when a task force known at the Gang Suppression Unit broke down his door, after being tipped off about a weapons cache. McAfee contends that the raid surrounded a bigger political cause, due to the fact that he didn’t contribute any money to a known UDP Orange Walk politician.
During the raid, McAfee and 11 of his employees were arrested and detained, his research lab was ransacked, his dog was killed, and his passport was taken. He was charged with illegal weapons possession and unlicensed drug manufacturing. The drug manufacturing charge surrounds McAfee’s new biotech company called QuorumEx which is producing commercial, all-natural antibiotics based on anti-quorum sensing technology. Basically, drugs made from exotic plants.
McAfee made a statement on the matter:
“On Monday at six o’clock, I was awakened by the sound of a bullhorn, a megaphone. I went outside and saw about thirty GSU in full uniform, full dressed, automatic weapons, storming through the property and drive way. I went back inside, got some clothes on, I came out. I was told to put up my hands up against the wall as was eleven other people on the compound. We had about eleven people present at the time—five of them were women. I was told that they had a warrant to search property. They began, with sledge hammers, to break the doors of the buildings—none of them were locked, but they just went and broke them in any case. I was merely watching this. They confiscated my passport, all of the weapons we used for security on the compound, handcuffed me and everyone and for fourteen hours outside in the sun, I sat handcuffed without food or water. We got water around noon. At three o’clock we asked for food. We were told by the GSU, do we look like cooks to you. They murdered my dog in cold blood. That was the thing I think—it was a warning to us that this is serious; don’t mess with us. They threw things around, they stole things—it was unbelievable, unimaginable for a country that was supposedly a democratic country. I was arrested on a bogus charge of having an illegal firearm—a firearm without a license. At the very beginning of the day, one of the GSU soldiers, one of the GSU officers, took all of my firearm licenses and put them in his vest. When he took them out to check the firearms, this one was missing. They charged me for having a firearm without a license; took me to Belize City. Fortunately we had copies. We showed up later at the police station with the copies. Even then it was difficult to get out. I had to get the intervention of the American embassy to get released. By the time I got to Belize, it was sixteen hours. I slept until two a.m. on a concrete floor at the Queen’s Street Police Station until the embassy finally convinced someone to release me. They confiscated my passport and claimed they didn’t have it. The entire day was an incredible nightmare. This is clearly a military dictatorship where people are allowed to go and harass citizens based on rumor alone and treat them as if they are guilty before any evidence whatsoever is obtained. It is astonishing, it is beyond belief and I intended not to let this stand.”
It’s a good thing that MaAfee had backups of his weapons licenses.
Last year, Intel bought McAfee Antivirus for $7.68 billion. It’s not clear how much money McAfee actually has, and he is said to have been hit pretty hard by the recession. Though, it’s evident that it might be time to get out of Belize regardless.