San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Fake TV news crew hoped to smuggle $7 million into Costa Rica

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaraguan police are investigating 18 foreigners carrying $7 million in smuggled cash in vans driven by people posing as members of a Mexican Televisa news crew, National Police Chief Aminta Granera announced Friday. The group planned to smuggle the cash into Costa Rica.

Eighteen people traveling in six vans were detained Wednesday at Nicaragua’s northern border with Honduras. The group told Nicaraguan authorities they arrived to cover the trial of suspects linked to the 2011 killing of Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral.

Granera said the suspects told police about 25 bundles of cash hidden in the vans. She said the elaborate ruse was intended to smuggle the cash through Nicaragua to Costa Rica.

Some of the vans were painted with the logo of Mexico’s Televisa network, which says it has no connection to the suspects and that there were no Televisa reporters in Nicaragua.

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