Thursday 9 February 2023

Man who entered the country with US$153K is sentenced to almost seven years in prison

He tried to hide bills in his luggage but was discovered at the Juan Santamaría airport

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QCOSTARICA – A man with US$ $153,294 in cash hidden in his luggage was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison, the Ministerio Público (Prosecutor’s Office) announced on Wednesday.

Photo: Ministerio Público.

The man surnamed Cascante Roldán and 51 years old, entered Costa Rica on June 21, 2021, through the Juan Santamaría International (San Jose) airport, attempted to evade airport security controls, with money from drug trafficking, committing the crime of money laundering.

The Fiscalía Adjunta contra la Legitimación de Capitales y Persecución Patrimonial (Deputy Prosecutor’s Office against Money Laundering and Patrimonial Persecution) said the money was hermetically packed bags so that it would not be detected.

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“The investigation established that the capital came from drug trafficking and the man tried to hide its illicit origin to legitimize it, inserting it into the national economy,” said the press of the Ministerio Publico.

Cascante took advantage of a special abbreviated procedure, for which he accepted the charges and was sentenced without facing a trial.

The sentence, file 21-000084-1322-PE, which is now firm, was issued on February 14.

A similar case transpired on June 16, 2021, when a Mexican couple was caught at the Juan Santamaría while trying to enter the country US$48,714 in their suitcases without declaring it.

Likewise, in February 2021, an American was arrested at the same airport when security controls discovered 55 checks, totaling US$83,600, hidden in his belongings.

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