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John McAfee Update: Software founder arrested in Guatemala, police say

Software company founder John McAfee adjusts a microphone in preparation for an interview in Guatemala City, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. McAfee, 67, has been identified as a "person of interest" in the killing of his neighbor in Belize, 52-year-old Gregory Faull. Police are urging McAfee to come in for questioning. The anti-virus company founder fled Belize and is seeking political asylum in Guatemala, according to his lawyer Telesforo Guerra. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo) Moises Castillo

Software company founder John McAfee adjusts a microphone in preparation for an interview in Guatemala City on Dec. 4, 2012
AP Photo/Moises Castillo

(CBS/AP) GUATEMALA CITY - Guatemalan police arrested software company founder John McAfee on Wednesday for entering the country illegally. The arrest came hours after he said he would seek asylum in the Central American country.

Interpol agents detained the anti-virus guru at a hotel in an upscale Guatemala City neighborhood and took him to an old, three-story building used to house migrants who enter the country illegally, said Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla.

Earlier Wednesday,  McAfee,  67, said he formally requested asylum in Guatemala after entering the country from Belize, where he says he fears for his safety because he has sensitive information about official corruption and refused to donate to local politicians.

"Yes, we are presenting this, and I want it to be clear, because of the persecution, not because of the murder," he told The Associated Press about his asylum bid.

Belize police denied they are persecuting McAfee and said there is no warrant for his arrest. The country's prime minister has even questioned McAfee's mental state. Since there are no restrictions on his travels, it's unclear why McAfee would need any special status in order to stay in Guatemala.

McAfee went on the run last month after officials tried to question him about the November shooting death of Gregory Faull, who lived a couple of houses down from McAfee's island compound.

McAfee engaged in a series of clashes with neighbors and authorities over allegations he kept aggressive dogs, illegal weapons and drug paraphernalia in his beachfront home. McAfee acknowledges that his dogs were bothersome and that Faull had complained about them, but denies killing Faull.

McAfee dropped out of sight after police said he was declared a person of interest in Faull's slaying. He grabbed global attention with regular phone calls with reporters and blog updates, claiming to be wearing disguises and watching as police raided his house. It was unclear, however, how much of what McAfee -- a confessed practical joker -- said and wrote was true.

At one point, he even posted on his blog that he mounted an elaborate ruse in Mexico to cover his flight.

"My `double,' carrying on (sic) a North Korean passport under my name, was detained in Mexico for pre-planned misbehavior," McAfee wrote in the posting, "but due to indifference on the part of authorities (he) was evicted from the jail and was unable to serve his intended purpose in our exit plan."

McAfee hasn't provided details on how he crossed from Belize into Guatemala. He said earlier that he didn't plan to leave Belize but ultimately did because he thought "Sam" was in danger, referring to the young woman who has accompanied him since he went into hiding.

Complete coverage of John McAfee on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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