Deputy Tax Service Director Reynaldo Verde detained by FBI on charges of extortion

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

A senior tax administrator of the Government of Belize remains in the United States of America (USA) after he was detained by the American authorities while transiting through that country on Saturday, September 7th. 46-year-old Reynaldo Verde, Belize’s Deputy Tax Service Director, is accused of alleged interference with commerce by means of extortion and attempted extortion. The senior public officer is also known to San Pedro Town, where in March 2013, he was involved in a shooting incident that left one man injured.

Prior to his arrest in the USA, Verde had been in Brussels, Belgium, attending an international tax conference. Upon arriving at the Washington Dulles International Airport near the American capital, he was intercepted by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and transferred to a federal detention centre in Virginia. In Belize, Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight confirmed his arrest.
On Monday, September 9th, the FBI via a communique, announced Verde’s detention. No further information has been regarding his arrest so far.

Verde has had brushes with Belizean law in the past. In November of 2004, he was arrested and charged for attempted murder, aggravated assault, use of deadly means of harm and discharging a firearm in public after he shot Jose Nuñez inside MJ’s Nightclub on Newtown Barracks in Belize City. At that time Verde got into an altercation with Nuñez where he pulled out his licensed weapon and shot Nuñez in the left arm.

In March 31, 2013, Verde was arrested in San Pedro Town for shooting Allen ‘Ajay’ Martinez. According to a police report, Martinez was socializing with some friends near the beach, when he accidentally bumped into Verde. An altercation ensued and Verde took out his licensed 9millimeter gun and fired a single shot towards Martinez. Verde was detained and during his appearance at the San Pedro Magistrate Court he was read a single charge for Dangerous Harm. Verde was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison. However, Verde had the option to apply for a Supreme Court bail, which is believed he obtained.

The San Pedro Sun will continue following this story.

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