Two Americans tried to enter Costa Rica, through the San Jose international airport (SJO), with US$644,344 dollars in their carryons.

The cash was bundled and wrapped in plastic. Photo: PCD

According to a press release from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública (MSP) – Ministry of Public Security –  the men were identified by their last names Skees, 25, and Howze, 41.

The Policía de Control de Drogas (PCD) – Drug Control Police – report indicates that the men, arrested on Wednesday, arrived from Los Angeles and had intended to leave that same day for Atlanta.

Ley 8204 sobre Estupefacientes, Sustancias Psicotrópicas, Drogas de Uso No Autorizado, Actividades Conexas, Legitimación de Capitales y Financiamiento al Terrorismo (Law 8204 on Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances, Drugs of Unauthorized Use, Related Activities, Legitimization of Capitals and Financing of Terrorism) defines the amount of money that each person can enter the country.

Article 35 of Ley 8204 establishes that “upon entering or leaving the country, every person, national or foreign, will be required to declare the cash or securities that he/she carries if the amount is equal to or greater than US$10,000 or its equivalent in another currency”.

The law establishes penalties of 8 to 20 years in prison for money laundering or Legitimación de Capitales in Spanish.