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26 November 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – A Costa Rican tried to enter the country through the Juan Santamaría International – San Jose Airport – with US$153,244 (the equivalent of ¢93.6 million colones) in his suitcases and whose origin is unknown.

The arrest of the 50-year-old man, identified by his surname Cascante Roldán, occurred this Sunday, June 20, although the information was not confirmed until Monday by the Policia Control de Drogas (PCD) – Drug Control Police, attached the Ministry of Public Security (MSP).

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According to a press release from the PCD, while the agents were carrying out their ordinary tasks inside the air terminal, they detected a man coming from the United States.

The expertise of the officials allowed them to detect anomalies in the two checked luggage carried by the subject and therefore they proceeded to inspect the bags. Inside, wrapped in black plastic bags, the agents found the bundles of bills.

In addition to the US currently, authorities seized another ¢17,000 colones.

Cascante Roldán is now being investigated for alleged money laundering.

Any national or foreigner entering or leaving Costa Rica is obliged to declare cash or securities equal to or greater than US$10,000 or its equivalent in colones.

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It is not illegal to enter with cash in greater amounts as long as its origin is justified, as established in article 69 of the Law on Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances, Drugs for Unauthorized Use, Related Activities, Money Laundering and Financing to Terrorism.

In accordance to the article, the person “will be sanctioned with a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years (…) when the assets of economic interest originate in any of the crimes related to the illicit traffic of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, money laundering, diversion of precursors, essential chemical substances and related crimes, conduct classified as terrorist, in accordance with current legislation or when the purpose is to finance acts of terrorism and terrorist organizations”.

The PCD added that Cascante has no criminal record.

Very recent notable cases at the same terminal

Just last Wednesday a couple of Mexican nationals tried to enter Costa Rica with US$48,714 in cash that they carried hidden in their clothing and shoes.

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The man with the surname Sánchez, 40, and the woman with the surname Méndez, 28, carried the money hidden in stockings, shoes and attached to their body, according to a report from the MSP.

In February an American, whose identity was not disclosed, was arrested after the police found hidden in his luggage 55 checks for a total of US$83,600, that is, more than (¢51.7 million colones).

Working with the PCD are other police bodies working the international airports in the country, such as the Air Surveillance Service.

In all these cases, the seized money goes to the coffers of the Instituto Costarricense sobre Drogas (ICD) – Costa Rican Institute on Drugs, the entity in charge of the prevention of drug use, or its treatment and rehabilitation.

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