Costa Rican police detained Panamanian businessman and former presidential hopeful David Ochy on Tuesday, who is suspected of money laundering and wanted by Interpol, officials from both countries reported.
The detention of a “Panamanian businessman” was carried out during an operation in the town of Guápiles, about 60 km northeast of San José, the Costa Rican Investigative Police Agency (OIJ) indicated. The OIJ did not release the name of the detainee, but Panama’s Security Minister Juan Manuel Pino confirmed that it is David Ochy.
In addition to being wanted for money laundering in Costa Rica, Ochy is also being sought by Interpol due to a pending corruption case in Panama.
The Panamanian businessman is linked in his country to the “New Business” case, a scandal for which former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) was sentenced to almost 11 years in prison accused of buying a publishing company with public money.
Ochy and his brother Daniel own one of the companies that, according to the ruling, deposited money into that common fund (the partnership was known as “New Business”) to purchase Editora Panama America (Epasa). That money came from advance payments made by the State for the repair of a highway in Panama.
However, while Daniel was sentenced to eight years in prison for this case, his brother David, detained on Tuesday in Costa Rica, could not be tried because he enjoyed electoral immunity at the time, as he was then a presidential pre-candidate in a party founded and led by Martinelli.