It took awhile for the news to migrate up from Belize, but earlier this week John McAfee, the investor, philanthropist, and founder of the McAfee, the less-than-loved antivirus software company, offered up a statement claiming that he forcibly imprisoned by the Belize Gang Suppression Unit (GSU).
“They murdered my dog in cold blood,” he told told News Channel 5 in Belize, adding that 30 armed officers from GSU showed up at his home, took his passport, and arrested him all for a trumped up weapons charge. “It began, innocently enough, with my refusal to donate to the local political boss of the district where I lvied [sic],” he claims.
His narrative of events sounds like the revenge-fantasy action thriller:
“On Monday at six o’clock, I was awakened by the sound of a bullhorn, a megaphone. I went outside and saw about thirty GSU in full uniform, full dressed, automatic weapons, storming through the property and drive way. I went back inside, got some clothes on, I came out. I was told to put up my hands up against the wall as was eleven other people on the compound. We had about eleven people present at the time—five of them were women. I was told that they had a warrant to search property. They began, with sledge hammers, to break the doors of the buildings—none of them were locked, but they just went and broke them in any case. I was merely watching this. They confiscated my passport, all of the weapons we used for security on the compound, handcuffed me and everyone and for fourteen hours outside in the sun, I sat handcuffed without food or water. We got water around noon. At three o’clock we asked for food. We were told by the GSU, do we look like cooks to you. They murdered my dog in cold blood. That was the thing I think—it was a warning to us that this is serious; don’t mess with us.”
Fast Company reported back in 2010, that Mr. McAfee headed to Belize to get away from a number of civil lawsuits. After becoming the poster boy for the nouveau poor after the recession, he sold his remaining properties and headed to Central America with enough left over to fund his passion: “developing new kinds of antibiotics from herbs found deep in the rain forests of Belize.” Seriously, has someone optioned a biopic yet?
News Channel 5 does not verify Mr. McAfee’s claims, but until the whole dead dog, false imprisonment business, it sounds like Belize was working out nicely for him. In telling the story of his unjust arrest, Mr. McAfee says he gave millions of dollars to the police there and the Channel 5 says in 2009, he donated a vessel worth $1.2 million to the Belize Coast Guard.