Controversial security and cryptocurrency expert John McAfee is once again in jail after being arrested in Spain over tax evasion charges in the United States.

McAfee was arrested arrested in Barcelona airport on Saturday, after he tried to board a flight to Istanbul with a British passport, a Spanish police source reportedly told Reuters.

McAfee was born on a US military base in the UK (to an American dad and a British mother), but he is considered a natural-born citizen of the United States.

Spanish arrest

And it should be noted that this is not the first time that McAfee has been jailed.

In July 2019 McAfee revealed he had been detained for a number of days in South America, after Dominican Republic Armed Forces boarded his yacht in Puerto Plata.

Multiple high-calibre weapons as well as ammunition were reportedly seized during that arrest.

He was later released after being detained for bringing the weapons into the country.

But now according to Reuters, which quoted a judicial source, McAfee after his arrest in Spain was then presented to a high court judge through a video call and sent to prison without bail where he will await the extradition process to the United States.

A third source, from the Catalonia region’s justice department, told Reuters that McAfee was in the Brians 1 jail, 45 minutes by car from Barcelona.

And in an apparent confirmation of his arrest in Spain, after he was arrested in Spain, McAfee’s official Instagram account posted a “Free McAfee” message with a photo of him.

Tax evasion

McAfee is essentially wanted by US federal prosecutors over charges that he evaded taxes and wilfully failed to file tax returns.

That came shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed it had brought civil charges against McAfee, alleging he made over $23.1 million (£17.7m) in undisclosed compensation from false and misleading cryptocurrency recommendations.

He is alleged to have earned millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, as well as through consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.

McAfee spoken out previously about taxes. Last year for example he tweeted that he hadn’t filed tax returns for eight years because “taxation is illegal.”

In December last year McAfee also launched his bid to become President of the United States of America, once again.

It should be remembered that McAfee ran in the US presidential election in 2016 under the Libertarian Party banner, but finished as runner-up for the Libertarian nomination.

Colourful life

The antivirus software pioneer certainly has had a colourful life.

In 2012 he went on the run after his neighbour in Belize and fellow US expatriate Gregory Faull was shot in the head in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye.

McAfee denied involvement in the murder after police in Belize said they wanted to question McAfee, but the millionaire said that he believed Faull had been killed in error, and the murderers were in fact after McAfee.

This motivated McAfee to change his appearance and go on the run.

He hid in Belize jungle for three weeks, but then crossed into neighbouring Guatemala, where he was arrested by immigration officials for entering the country illegally, and eventually deported – but to the US, not Belize.

However Belizean police did not persist in seeking McAfee’s imprisonment for murder, making him a free man.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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