The Organization of Judicial Investigations (OIJ) launched 35 simultaneous raids early this morning as a part of a case of an alleged large scale money laundering organization. The actions were taken throughout Costa Rica, though most raids occurred in the Canton of Perez Zeledon.
Included in the actions were raids on two banks in Perez Zeledon, Baco de Costa Rica and Banco Proamerica.
According to officials they were targeting an organization of 24 individuals that they assert were involved in laundering profits of an international drug smuggling organization.
In a statement from the Organism of Judicial Investigations (OIJ) it alleges:
“The structure was created for the purchase of real estate, including large farms, houses and other properties, high-end vehicles and around 1,500 head of cattle. Additionally, several companies were formed in which suspicious persons are linked to the case. These companies represent commercial businesses used “facade businesses” for the legitimization of assets”
They also said the operations were a result of a parallel investigation into international drug smuggling going back to 2011.
The organization is alleged to be run by a 47 year old man with the surname of Segura. No further details about the suspect have been released or of any of the other suspects.
While money laundering cases related to drug smuggling are not uncommon in Costa Rica, the size and scope of the raids took many by surprise.
Costa Rica has been under pressure by international anti-laundering organizations for many years to take strong steps to combat illicit banking and business activities.