McAfee arrested in Guatemala – Silicon Valley entrepreneur to be extradited to Belize

6 Dec 2012

After weeks on the run, flamboyant Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur John McAfee has been arrested in Guatemala and will most likely be extradited back to Belize where he must answer questions about the murder of fellow American Gregory Faull.

McAfee founded the McAfee antivirus empire in the 1980s and made up to US$97m. The company was sold to Intel in recent years and McAfee no longer has any connection to it.

However, in recent years, he lost the majority of his wealth through bad investment decisions and the recession.

He lived on the Caribbean island of Ambergis Caye, Belize, and his behaviour in recent years has been described as erratic at best, characterised by a love of guns, young women, and alleged drug taking.

He was often seen strutting around with armed guards festooned with guns.

Death of neighbour

It is understood that McAfee had fallen out with neighbours on the island over the noise of his dogs. Someone poisoned McAfee’s dogs and Faull was found shot dead not long after.

What followed was a bizarre game of cat and mouse, whereby McAfee went on the run. He wrote a blog drawing attention to his plight on the lam and even brought journalists from CNN and Vice Magazine along with him on his jaunt.

McAfee has been proclaiming his innocence and said he fled because he wouldn’t get a fair trial in Belize and believes he is being persecuted because he won’t hand over money to the country’s ruling party.

His jaunt – which many have criticised draws attention away from the real situation, the murder of a human being – came crashing to a close when one of the journalists wrote a taunting piece about McAfee’s whereabouts and an eagle-eyed hacker was able to get the location from the embed information in the digital photograph taken on an iPhone 4S.

Guatemalan authorities arrested the 67-year-old after allegedly illegally crossing into the country with his 20-year-old girlfriend.

While there is no international arrest warrant for McAfee, it is understood authorities in Guatemala plan to expel him to Belize.

He blogged last night: “I am in jail in Guatemala. Vastly superior to Belize jails. I asked for a computer and one magically appeared. The coffee is also excellent. Only time will tell what will happen. No one has a crystal ball. However, I would be truly shocked if I did not conduct the press conference tomorrow as I had originally planned. Stay tuned. I believe, by the way, that blogging from a jail cell might be a groundbreaking activity.”

Handcuffs image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years