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John McAfee, antivirus pioneer, arrested by Belize police

Detained by anti-gang police who shot dog, reports say

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McAfee antivirus founder John McAfee is reportedly taking legal advice after a raid on his Belize home by police resulted in the software entrepreneur’s arrest and the death of his pet dog.

The raid in the early morning of 1 May by the country’s armed ‘Gang Suppression Unit’ (GSU) allegedly involved the doors to McAfee’s house being smashed down, his property ransacked, and his dog shot.

After searching the house for drugs and firearms and handcuffing him and his 12 employees, the police detained McAfee for a number of hours before releasing him at 2am the following morning.

The police haven’t given a reason for the raid but did reportedly find a cache of weapons including 12 gauge shotguns, handguns, rifles with scopes and ammunition. McAfee said he’d presented permits for all but one of the weapons which were for his company’s security.

“The entire day was an incredible nightmare. This is clearly a military dictatorship where people are allowed to go and harass citizens based on rumour alone and treat them as if they are guilty before any evidence whatsoever is obtained,” McAfee was reported as telling a local TV station after the raid.

McAfee blamed events on his refusal to donate money to “the local political boss.” No charges have been brought.

“I have a fair amount of money and not much to do. So I spend it where I think it will do go. And I don’t ever invest in politics. I don’t donate to any political party; I don’t have any political affiliations,” he said.

Although independently wealthy thanks to his past involvement with the company that still bears his name, the entrepreneur claimed to be being hit badly by the financial fallout from the credit crunch of 2008.

In 2009, his New Mexico ranch was put up for sale to the highest bidder, a period during which he was also reported to have sold properties in Colorado and Hawaii.

He was the subject of a contentious Fast Company article in which it was suggested that he might be exaggerating his financial losses in order to avoid the fallout from a civil suit connected to the death of his nephew in a flying accident. McAfee moved to Belize in 2008.

Still remarkably well preserved for his 66 years, McAfee remains better known for his exploits in helping to form the antivirus industry in late 1980s.

His company, McAfee Associates, was one of a small handful of companies that pioneered protection for PCs against viruses – McAfee is particularly associated with researching the infamous ‘Brain’ virus of 1986 – a quaint threat by today’s standards.

In 1997 the McAfee name disappeared as the company was renamed Network Associates after a merger with Network General. Subsequently relaunched under its original McAfee brand in 2004, the company was finally bought by Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion.


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yesterdayschild said: Its only when one lives there that one gradually realizes how malignant it really is

Hbarwood said: Sounds to me like a good boycott of Belizian tourism would get their attention We usually go down 2-3 times a year but that seems unlikely now To seem like such a benign country Belize has an undercurrent of graft that is amazing

Santabelize said: No mention in your story about him illegally manufacturing antibiotics at his home That was found during the raid

yesterdayschild said: Belize is a country that operates on monopolies political incest and corruption from the top down This was most likely a shake-down because he did not make pay-offs to all the politicos down the line who expect mordida for every permit one needs for every activity This is the way it works here Especially if one is wealthy and a foreigner as non-Belizeans are referred to To be safe he needs to make an annual cash payment to both political parties and then some

andria john said: McAfee blamed events on his refusal to donate money to the local political boss in his locality

AmeriExpat said: Insiders are pointing to a Government official who wanted his financial backing in the last election and he refused The UDP under its first administration had a similar police division called the SIS that ruled fear into Belizeans and any one who did not play by their handbook If you are planning on investing in Belize wait until this gov changes

Nick said: Incorrect - McAfee says he presented permits for all weapons one of which permits mysteriously went missing in police custody although he was able to re-present a copy of that toohttptcoGaZsk14w

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