Sunday 26 September 2021

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

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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.

This building located in Avenida 8 and Calle 9, in Chinatown, in the heart of San Jose is where the gang operated from. Foto: OIJ

The Tuesday raid on Chinatown is linked to a raid on a building in Paseo Colon last August 24, at that time seizing a cool million in cash and arresting a 24-year-old Asian man identified by his last name Weng.

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Agents of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) and the Fiscalía (Prosecutor’s Office) raided the three-storey building in Chinatown at 8:00 am and ended the search and seizure by 5:00 pm.

Five Asian nationals with legal residency in Costa Rica were arrested in Tuesday’s raid. Foto: OIJ

“The OIJ has been investigating how this money enters the country, is stored and entered into the legal financial system to achieve the laundering of dirty capital,” said Wálter Espinoza Espinoza, director of the OIJ.

The five men arrested were identified by their last names Li, Xie, Feng, Sheng and Hu, all with legal residency in Costa Rica.

That’s a lot of mooola! Foto: OIJ

According to Walter Espinoza, the operation continues and he hopes that in the following months there will be other “strong and direct blows to this type of criminal organizations that are appearing” in the country.

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