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. 

Compartir icon icon icon

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

Related Content

BELIZE / 4 JUN 2012

US authorities are concerned about Belize's failure to bring charges against a man suspected of ordering a massive shipment of…

BELIZE / 5 MAR 2015

In its most recent report, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) -- responsible for overseeing the implementation of the United…

BELIZE / 13 NOV 2012

In a sign of increasing discontent with the dominant anti-drug strategy in the hemisphere, the heads of state of three…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…