HomeNewsBriefHezbollah Suspect Obtained Fake Belize IDs in 72 Hours
BRIEF

Hezbollah Suspect Obtained Fake Belize IDs in 72 Hours

BELIZE / 13 SEP 2012 BY CLAIRE O'NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

Preliminary investigations have revealed that terrorist suspect, Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, managed to obtain valid Belizean documentation within the span of just a few days, fuelling further speculation about Hezbollah in Latin America and the integrity of Belize's immigration system.

As the Belize Times reports, Allaboun, a dual citizen of the United States and Lebanon, obtained a false Belizean passport just two weeks ago, after first obtaining a birth certificate and driver’s license under the name of a deceased Belizean citizen. The Times' investigation suggests Allabounthat obtained all three in only 72 hours.

His birth certificate and passport applications, the latter of which was reportedly refused at first by a junior official but then accepted by a senior immigration officer, have disappeared from the Vital Statistics Unit and the Passport Office.

InSight Crime Analysis

Allaboun was arrested in Yucatan, Mexico on September 8 along with two other men reportedly linked to Hezbollah, and extradited back to the United States. He is suspected of violating his parole, having been released from a US prison in June after serving a 27 month sentence for credit card fraud. Authorities suspected, but were unable to prove in court, that the money he stole was linked to a Hezbollah money laundering operation.

Allaboun’s arrest may prompt a new round of speculation about Hezbollah in Latin America, but US authorities continue to maintain that the organization’s activities in Latin America are limited to fundraising. The State Department’s 2011 Country Reports on Terrorism, released in July 2012, stated that there are no known Hezbollah cells in Latin America.

The speed and ease with which Allaboun obtained false documentation raise some alarming questions about the security of Belize’s immigration control, especially given the possible advantages that come with holding Belizean nationality. Belizeans are required to obtain a visa before entering the United States, but do not need one to enter Mexico -- where Allaboun was arrested -- or to travel to any other country in Central or South America. Nor are they required to get visas for the UK or Ireland. There have been indications of Central American Mara gangs moving into Belize, as well as Mexican drug cartels. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BELIZE / 17 SEP 2021

Despite improving homicide statistics, Belize continues to regularly declare states of emergency due to crime rates. But do these actually…

BELIZE / 1 MAR 2021

A recent drug plane interception in Belize has unveiled the role corrupt officials have been playing in facilitating the nation's…

ARGENTINA / 29 JAN 2021

While unrest gripped much of Latin America in 2019, it was the coronavirus that took center stage and ripped through…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…