Agents suspect money laundering in detention of seven travelers

The Policía de Control de Drogas have detained seven Guatemalans and a Costa Rican on allegations that they are involved in the importation of money for laundering.

The seven arrived on a flight from Guatemala Saturday afternoon. Agents said that each was carrying an amount of cash, mostly in U.S. currency, that was less than $10,000, the reporting threshold.

The new arrivals were detained about 1 p.m. Saturday in La Garita de Alajuela. Agents confiscated some $60,000 in U.S. currency and much smaller amounts in other currencies.

This is believed to be the first arrest here of those involved in a scheme that has been popular in other countries.

The Central American states to the north have reported a flood of young men entering their countries with cash just short of the amount that would require reporting.

The suspicion is that the money comes form the sale of drugs and is being moved south to the cartels.

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