Headline — 20 September 2012 — by Adele Ramos
Mex cops want Yasser Safa!

Belize Immigration has no record of Rafic Labboun Allaboun; he must have been smuggled into Belize, says official

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Sept. 19, 2012

Mexican police have put out an all-points bulletin (APB) for Lebanese-Belizean Yasser Youssef Safa, according to Belize National Security Press Officer Delroy Cuthkelvin. Safa has been wanted for questioning since last week, when Mexican authorities reportedly found his younger brother, Samer Youssef Safa, in the company of Lebanese-American Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, 44, an imam of California, who has since been deported back to the US after allegedly skipping probation.

Meanwhile, Labboun is also being investigated in Belize after he allegedly acquired the birth certificate of Wilhelm Dyck and used his identity to obtain a Belizean passport and driver’s license in Dyck’s name, although Dyck, of Shipyard, Orange Walk, died as a baby at the age of 2 months back in 1976.

Cuthkelvin said that checks made of Belize immigration records have turned up no evidence of Rafic Labboun having come to Belize. All Lebanese visitors, he said, require a visa and so all indications are that Labboun must have been smuggled into Belize, Cuthkelvin said.

As we had reported last week, Samer and Yasser Safa are wanted for questioning, as authorities here try to unravel the mystery of how Labboun entered Belize and obtained the false Mennonite identity.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has now asked for the case file, as they investigate allegations of Labboun’s possible terrorist connection to Hezbollah.

According to Cuthkelvin, Samer Safa remains in Mexican custody, and he has not yet been handed over to Belize because of an immigration probe there. Samer Safa had a Mexican residency card but was admitted to Mexico as a tourist. His brother, Yasser, helped get an attorney to represent his brother in the case—but that was before the move to detain Yasser for questioning.

The third person named in last week’s report, Justin George Abdallah Elters, Belizean by naturalization, has been freed by Mexican authorities and is not being sought in Belize, Cuthkelvin said.

International press reports allege that Samer Youssef Safa—said to be possibly related to top Hezbollah security chief, Wafik Safa, who is also married to Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah’s sister—may be linked with Labboun’s escape from the US.

As the FIU investigations ensue, they will also be probing further into reports of Hezbollah/Al Qaeda links in Belize, which have also been under watch by US and Mexican authorities for about 4 years.

Elsewhere in this edition of Amandala, we report on alleged links between a Pakistani-Belizean and drug-running agents that have operated across the Belize-Mexico and Mexico-US border, using Belize as a base to ship small packages of drugs overseas using local pharmaceutical operations.

The allegations furthermore said the agents launder money and traffic drugs, arms, people and stolen vehicles from Central America to Lebanon to aid terrorist activities.

As of press time today, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, had not yet advised on charges for anyone in Belize, and she has called for police to conduct further investigations.

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