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 / 10 AUG 2021

The leader of a transnational money laundering network cleaned drug money through a scheme that included casinos, a seafood export…

BELIZE / 9 NOV 2021

While contraband cigarettes are a mainstay across Latin America, Belize has confirmed its status as a major port of entry…

ARGENTINA / 1 FEB 2022

In 2021, most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a marked increase in murders. Resurgent violence was to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…