Local news channel News 5 in Belize reports that McAfee founder John McAfee was arrested at his research facility in Orange Walk for having a firearm without a license. McAfee calls the arrest bogus, claiming that it was an intentional move because he failed to bribe a local political boss in the local district.
"On Monday at six o’clock, I was awakened by the sound of a bullhorn, a megaphone," McAfee explains. "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."
At the time, there were eleven people other than McAfee present at the facility, five of which were women. The GSU said they had a warrant to search the property, but instead of simply entering through the doors and conducting their search in a civilized manner, they reportedly took sledgehammers to every door, all of which were unlocked. McAfee just stood watching, shocked.
"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," he told News 5. "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."
He said that during the search, they threw things around and stole many items. One of the GSU officers even confiscated all of his firearms licenses and put them in his vest. When the search was over, he pulled the licenses back out except for one. Based on this "missing" license, McAfee was charged with having a firearm without a license, and dragged him off to Belize City.
"Fortunately we had copies," he said. "We showed up later at the police station with the copies. Even then it was difficult to get out. I had to get the intervention of the American embassy to get released. By the time I got to Belize, it was sixteen hours. I slept until two a.m. on a concrete floor at the Queen’s Street Police Station until the embassy finally convinced someone to release me."
He said the police claimed they didn't have his passport even though they snatched it up during the search. "This is clearly a military dictatorship where people are allowed to go and harass citizens based on rumor alone and treat them as if they are guilty before any evidence whatsoever is obtained," he added. "It began, innocently enough, with my refusal to donate to the local political boss of the district where I lived in Orange Walk and I have given at least two million dollars in gifts to the police departments in Orange Walk, San Pedro, Belize City, to the village of Carmelita, and the City of Orange Walk."
The 64-year-old McAfee founder was never officially charged. He said he has a fair amount of money and not much to do. Thus, he has started programs to feed children, help mothers whose husbands have "simply disappeared" -- he essentially spends his money where he thinks it will do good. He doesn't invest in political parties, and he doesn't have any political affiliation, so naturally he refused to donate to the politician in question.
"I’ve given a million dollars to the police department, so he should get a huge chunk and he got nothing," he said. "Immediately after that, he began—not personality but his aids—began a campaign of calling to the local radio stations on Saturday morning talk shows saying the same thing; 'What are we going to do about the white man at the toll bridge? He has all of these security guards. He’s probably involved in illegal activities. Everybody is complaining about him.' Nothing could be further from the truth. That politician by the way did not get reelected."
After Channel 5's report surfaced, F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen jumped on Twitter and warned other Internet security founders about McAfee's encounter. "Hey Peter Norton, here's a tip: don't go to Belize."
The McAfee security company told The Inquirer that "John McAfee is a private individual with no connection to McAfee." Consider him disowned.