International — 20 June 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
Guatemalan authorities confiscate $38,000 worth of contraband cigarettes

Was the truckload of illicit goods from Belize?

A smuggling operation which was launched by authorities in neighboring Guatemala yesterday netted more than 50 boxes of contraband cigarettes onboard a cargo truck which is believed to have originated from Belize.

According to Guatemalan police, the illicit cargo – which consisted of an estimated 247,400 cigarettes valued at 150,000 quetzals or BZ$38,220.99 – was seized early yesterday morning on a dirt road near the urban area of Santa Ana Village, located in Petén, Guatemala.

They reported that while they were able to sequester the contraband merchandise, the driver of the vehicle was able to escape by fleeing into some bushes.

Nevertheless, the shipment was transported into police custody in San Benito, Guatemala, as evidence for the investigators who are working on the case.

Unconfirmed reports from Guatemala’s Prensa Libre newspaper suggest that the cigarettes were transported from Belize and were destined for businesses located in the Guatemalan towns of Zacapa, Chiquimula and Jutiapa.

Although the cigarettes were not manufactured in Belize, we understand that they usually end up in Belize after being shipped from countries such as India, China, Switzerland, Paraguay, and Panama.

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