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Blow to money laundering: OIJ finds more than US$3 million and detains five people in Chinatown

Costa Rican authorities gave a financial blow on Tuesday to a money laundering gang operating out of Chinatown in the heart of San Jose, seizing US$3 million dollars in cash and arresting five people. The Tuesday raid on Chinatown is linked to a raid on...

Crime Will Not Pay In Costa Rica If Law Approved

Legislators of the Comisión de Seguridad y Narcotráfico (Security and Drug Trafficking Commission) approved a text that would allow the State to confiscate assets acquired through crime. According to Gustavo Viales, chairman of the commission, the text has the endorsement of the Instituto Costarricense sobre...

Costa Rica banks register strong increase in alerts due to suspected money laundering

Cases of suspected money laundering transactions soared in Costa Rican financial entities during the past year. Bank sent to the Instituto Costarricense sobre Drogas (ICD) - Costa Rican Institute on Drugs - 507 complaints of operations suspected of "legitimación de capitales" in 2018, an...

How Hugo Chávez’s Former Bodyguard became a Billionaire in Florida

They lived in total opulence while Venezuela plunged into misery. Alejandro Andrade, 54, went from being the bodyguard of former President Hugo Chávez and National Treasurer of Venezuela to becoming a multimillionaire in Florida, until he was arrested by the United States Department of...

Is Latin America Harboring a Mafia State?

(Panam Post) Many analysts are shocked at the collapse of Venezuela, a nation that was once showcased as the cradle of modernity in Latin America. This surprise of course springs from the fact that most observers failed to realize that the ascent of the...

U.S. banks warned to watch for corrupt cash from Nicaragua

The U.S. has ratcheted up the pressure on the government of Daniel Ortega for its crackdown on political opponents, with the U.S. Treasury Department officials warning American banks to be wary of corrupt officials moving cash from embattled Nicaragua into the U.S. financial system. Anti-government...

Traveling To Costa Rica With Large Sums of Undeclared Cash Risky Business

When traveling to Costa Rica with more than US$10,000 in cash or its equivalent in colones or euros, nothing happens as long as you declare it on your customs form upon landing. The same applies to land and maritime borders. Customs officials may, however, want...

Banco Nacional Closed Alunasa Accounts for US Alert on Alleged Money Laundering

Last Wednesday, June 13, the Banco Nacional de Costa Rica (BNCR) closed all the bank accounts of the Alunasa company, owned by the Government of Venezuela, after the US Treasury Department issued an alert about an alleged money laundering operation through the company. The BNCR,...

Venezuela Strongman Used Alunasa To Launder Money in Costa Rica, Accuses the United States

An investigation by the US Treasury Department concluded that Venezuela's strongman, Diosdado Cabello, laundered money in Costa Rica through the Alunasa company, located in Juanilama de Esparza, Puntarenas. The events date back to December 2016, says a statement issued on May 18, which said Cabello’s...

Colombian Narco cryptocurrency laundering network busted in Spain

Spain said Monday it has shut down a complex cryptocurrency network that used digital currency to pay for shipments of cocaine from Colombia to Europe. “Operation White Tulip”, which was coordinated by Europol and involved the Spanish Civil Guard and the Customs Service of the...

Panama puts Venezuela’s Maduro on money laundering watch

Panama has placed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other top officials on a watch list for money laundering. The National Commission Against Money Laundering published a resolution naming 55 people and 16 Venezuelan companies “considered high risk for money laundering” and financing terrorism. Source: Today Panama

Otto Guevara Suspected Of ‘Legitimating Capital’

The Chief Prosecutor (Attorney General), Emilia Navas Aparicio, confirmed on Saturday that during the raid of the offices of Grupo Jurídico Especializado, in which legislator, former presidential candidate and lawyer Otto Guevara Guth has an office, found was ¢41 million colones (¢39 million colones...

Latin America Falls Short on Anti-Crime Efforts: US State Department

(Insightcrime.org) An annual report by the US State Department on international drug trafficking suggests that Latin America continues to struggle with developing effective strategies to combat criminal activities due to a variety of factors ranging from corruption to shifts in regional drug dynamics. The annual...

Nicaragua Dismisses Ambassador To Costa Rica

The government of Daniel Ortega has dismissed Harold Rivas Reyes from his position as Nicaragua's Ambassador to Costa Rica. The decision was communicated to the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry last Saturday and effectived immediately. The "note" by Nicaragua's Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not mention...

Foreigner Detained At Airport For Concealing Large Amount Of Cash

A woman of Cuban nationality was detained by the officials of the Policía de Control de Drogas (PCD) - Drug Control Police - at the Juan Santamaria (San Jose) international airport, for carrying a large sum of cash hidden in her hand luggage. The PCD...

US$2 Million Dollar Mansion Most Expensive Seizure From Drug Traffickers

A US$2 million dollar two-story mansion that is under construction, standing out in a middle-class neighborhood of La Guacima, Alajuela, is the most expensive asset seized from drug traffickers. The residence, which resembles a large hacienda, lacks the finishing touches, is located just one kilometer...

Tico Selling Fake Viagra Online Pleads Guilty In U.S.

A Costa Rican man pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to charges of mail fraud and money laundering, on charges of selling drugs imported from India, in the U.S. Ramiro Navarro Quesada, 41, was indicted in October 2015 on three counts of mail fraud and...

Money Laundering Risk Levels in Latin American Countries, Ranked

Insightcrime.org - An annual report by one of the world's leading institutions working against financial crimes ranks countries around the world in terms of their money laundering risk levels, providing a sense of where Latin American nations stand when it comes to this important...

Back In Costa Rica After Being Jailed In Nicaragua Adriana Corella Is Recovering Her Life

After a stint of one year, three months and some days in a Nicaraguan jail, the Costa Rican model, Adriana Corella, has shown on the social networks she is recovering her life. Accused of money laundering and then after being tried, convicted to four years...

Honduras Tycoon Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering in US

Q24N (Insightcrime.org) One of Honduras' most powerful and politically-connected business tycoons, Yani Rosenthal, has pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge in the United States, suggesting the possibility that he could provide information on other Honduran elites involved in criminal activities. Rosenthal pleaded guilty July...

Implications of Costa Rica’s Money Laundering Law Reform

Q COSTA RICA - Lawyers, notaries, accountants, real estate agents, casinos, and non-profit organizations and others will be required to report suspicious transactions made by their clients that may be used as a tool for money laundering or for financing terrorism. Bill 19.951 approved in...

Costa Rica Model Released From Nicaragua Prison Back In The Country

Q COSTA RICA - A free woman and back in Costa Rica, Adriana Corella, says she is ready to close the page on the last year and four months of her life, is calm and doesn't hold any grudges against those who criticized here. Sentenced...

Why Did US Blacklist Most LatAm Countries for Money Laundering?

Q24N via Insightcrime.org - The United States has blacklisted nearly all Latin American countries for money laundering in 2017. InSight Crime explores why this is the case, and discusses some of the achievements and failings of regional anti-money-laundering efforts over the past year. Of the...

Money Laundering in Central America

Q24N - The housing market, casinos, concert halls, and the livestock sector are all used to launder money in Central American countries. Excerpted from the report "International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes" by the US State Department: Nicaragua Weak governmental institutions,...

Costa Rica On The Hunt For Wanted Former Mexico State Governor

Q COSTA RICA NEWS - "He will be detained and immediately deported," are the words of the Minister of Security, Gustavo Mata, on the possible presence Javier Duarte, the former governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz, reported to be in Costa Rica. Mata made...

Narco Model Sentenced To Four Years in Prison

(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rican model Adriana Kathia Corella will be spending the next four years and six months in prison, sentenced by a Nicaraguan court for money laundering and organized crime. The sentence was read Wednesday afternoon by judge of the Seventh Criminal Court District Trial...

Soho Mall Stores and the Clinton List

(Q24N) As time passes there is growing uncertainty on the part of traders that have shops in Soho Mall in Panama about the future of the company which has been included on the US government's list of companies suspected of money laundering. From a statement...

Panama Denies to U.S. Risk of Money Laundering

(Q24N) he Government of Panama rejected today the remarks of the Department of Financial Services of New York (NYDES), of the United States, as a high-risk jurisdiction for money laundering. The Minister of Economy and Finances Dulcidio De la Guardia told reporters he received an...

Biggest Money Launderer In The World Fights To Keep Costa Rican Citizenship

(QCOSTARICA) The man regarded as being the biggest money launderer in the world, currently servicing 20 years in a United States prison, is fighting to keep his Costa Rican nationality. Arthur Budovsky Belanchuk, 42, born in the Ukraine, became a naturalized citizen of Costa Rica...

Costa Rica Approves Reforms Against Terrorism and Laundering

(QCostarica) Under the banner of fighting drug trafficking, but more important the country not falling on the "black list" (lista gris in Spanish), Costa Rica's legislator have approved in first debate reforms  against terrorism and money laundering. With a vote of 39 (of 55) in...

“It’s A Money Laundry”, The Secret Life of Panama

The Secret Life of Panama City By Jon Lee Anderson By Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker – Panama, which offers up its national flag to international shippers, local addresses to ghost corporations, and an anything-goes banking system to anyone with money, has long...

Report Highlights Importance of Trade-Based Money Laundering

  Q24N - A new report from the US Congressional Research Service details the importance of trade-based money laundering for criminal networks in Latin America and outlines some of the ways the region's governments are attempting to combat illicit financial flows. The CRS report (pdf) describes...

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