McAfee founder raided in Belize by gang-busting police
Claims political persecution and dog murder
By Iain Thomson • In Business • At 18:31 GMT 4th May 2012
John McAfee, retired founder of McAfee Antivirus, has had his Belize laboratory raided and his dog shot during a dawn raid by thirty officers of the local police Gang Suppression Unit.
At 6am on Monday morning the officers with a warrant stormed McAfee's laboratory, which researches ways to use bacterial communication to fight disease. In a statement to local station Channel Five, McAfee said police smashed open unlocked doors, handcuffed the 12 employees and "murdered my dog in cold blood."
"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 said. "It is astonishing, it is beyond belief and I intend not to let this stand. I will not stand idly by to let this happen to me."
The police claimed that the facility had unlicensed firearms, and McAfee claims the correct documents were all handed over, but after the raid a single firearms certificate was missing and he and his staff were left handcuffed in the compound for 14 hours. It took copies of the original certificates and the intervention of the US embassy to get him released, but his passport was seized.
McAfee claims that he was approached by a local politician who asked for a donation to his campaign. He refused. McAfee has spent millions on local health and police programs, but has not wanted to get involved in politics, he said.
"I am an old man, I am sixty-six. I have a fair amount of money and not much to do. So I spend it where I think it will do good. And I don’t ever invest in politics," he said. "I don’t donate to any political party; I don’t have any political affiliations. I think politics is foolish for a private citizen like myself to engage in — the winning party, you never get your money and the losing party, you're on the outs."
McAfee originally started researching the Brain virus as an intellectual exercise, before marketing code to handle the first malware by pioneering shareware. He eventually started McAfee before selling it to Network Associates and retiring to study yoga, while still investing in technology and research. ®