Categories: SecurityWorkspace

UPDATED: Has John McAfee Been Apprehended? Nope, His ‘Double’ Was

John McAfee, the anti-virus pioneer wanted for questioning over the murder of a neighbour, has reportedly been apprehended at the border of Belize and Mexico.

On Friday, the team running the official John McAfee blog lost contact with him. They subsequently received a voicemail from an anonymous caller, saying he was “picked up crossing the Mexican border”.

John McAfee on the run

“We have not received word back from this individual (he did not leave a phone number or additional details), nor have we received word from McAfee himself. As such, we cannot confirm 100 percent that the message we received is accurate or deny it. The only thing we can confirm is that we have not been able to make contact with Mr McAfee,” John McAfee’s official spokesperson, Brian Fitzgerald, wrote today.

“We are very concerned for McAfee’s safety and wellbeing. All we can do is hope that we receive word from Mr McAfee himself or a reliable source to confirm that he is okay. In addition we would like to hear from any officials at the Belizean or Mexican governments if they have detained Mr McAfee.”

Yet police officials in Belize said yesterday they had not arrested McAfee. “He is not in police custody,” said Belize police spokesman Raphael Martinez. No arrest warrant has yet been issued for McAfee. He is wanted for questioning, police said.

McAfee has been on the run from police for some weeks now, after his neighbour and fellow expatriate Gregory Faull was shot dead.

The founder of the Intel-owned anti-virus firm is believed to have ties with criminal gangs in Belize. He has long since distanced himself from the business.

Protesting his innocence, he recently offered a $25,000 reward for the capture of the murderer.

UPDATE: John McAfee has now issued a statement saying he has not been arrested and that he is no longer in Belize. He claimed his double was the one arrested in Mexico. “I apologise for the silence, and misdirection,” he wrote.

“We are not in Belize, but not quite out of the woods yet… My ‘double’, traveling on a North Korean passport under my name, was in fact detained in Mexico for pre-planned misbehaviour  but due to indifference on the part of authorities was evicted from the jail and was unable to serve his intended purpose in our exit plan.”

He said he had left Belize to ensure the safety of his partner, Sam.  “I decided to make the move. I will be returning to Belize after I have place Sam in a safe position. My fight is in Belize, and I can do little in exile. My lifeline of information pertaining to the inner workings of the government depends on my physical presence.”

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Thomas Brewster

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

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