Security software pioneer John McAfee, who has been on the run from the police in Belize for three weeks, has turned up in neighbouring Guatemala and is planning to hold a press conference on Thursday.
McAfee has hired a high-profile lawyer – who also happens to be the uncle of his 20-year old girlfriend Sam – and said he intends to “fight against the government of Belize”. He has offered to meet the prime minister, but still refuses to turn himself in to the Belize police.
As a young and talented programmer, McAfee worked for high-profile companies such as NASA, Xerox, Lockheed and CSC. He started his own business in 1987, and left it in 1994, after making an estimated $100 million fortune on anti-virus software. The company founded by McAfee is now owned by Intel, and remains the second largest security software vendor in the world.
After leaving the IT industry, McAfee’s behaviour became increasingly erratic. About three years ago, he moved to Belize and founded QuorumEx, a research company dedicated to studying bacterial quorum sensing – a method of communicating through pheromones.
McAfee became a wanted man three weeks ago, after his neighbour and fellow American expatriate Gregory Faull was shot in the head in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye. The police said they wanted to question him, but the millionaire believed that Faull’s murder was a mistake, and the killers were actually after him.
He later offered a $25,000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the killers of Gregory Faull.
Now, McAfee is finally ready to talk to Belizean authorities. He has contacted the US embassy there, and has offered to meet the Belize prime minister, who has prevously described the security software expert as “bonkers”.
“It is entirely possible that you have little or no knowledge of the level of corruption being propagated throughout every branch of your government,” he wrote to the PM. “I will turn over to you thousands of hours of video and audio as proof, providing that we meet as gentlemen and are mutually convinced of our honesty.”
However, the eccentric millionaire still refuses to meet Belize police: “I will answer any questions that you may have over the phone. If I am indeed merely wanted for questioning, this should suffice.”
McAfee has promised to tell more during a press conference he plans to hold at 2PM in Guatemala City on Thursday.
Earlier, McAfee said he was going to return to Belize once he had found a safe haven for Samantha, whom he believed to be in danger.
Last weekend, the team behind the whoismcafee.com blog received an anonymous tip that John was apprehended while trying to cross the border into Mexico. However, it later turned out that the man arrested by authorities was his ‘double’, and a part of an elaborate plan designed to help McAfee escape.
McAfee had also claimed he manipulated the geo-tags contained in a picture sent to the alternative culture magazine Vice, in order to confuse his pursuers. He later admitted that an “unseasoned technician” at Vice accidentally revealed the exact coordinates of his location.
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