San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Judge orders preventive prison for flight attendant arrested with $160,000

A criminal court in the province of Alajuela on Friday issued three months of preventive prison to a Mexican flight attendant arrested Wednesday at the Juan Santamaría International Airport while carrying $160,000 in cash.

The 28-year-old woman, whose last name is Rodríguez, is now under investigation for the crime of money laundering.

The woman arrived Wednesday at 11 p.m. from Mexico on an Aeroméxico flight, and was able to make it through airport security checkpoints with the money attached to her body.

She then took a taxi to a hotel in the capital. However, shortly after she was stopped during a “routine check” carried out by officers from the Drug Control Police, Judicial Investigation Police and other security agencies.

While being questioned by police, officials said she appeared nervous, and agents proceeded to conduct a body search. They found a belt attached to her waist holding 15 bundles of cash.

According to Judicial Police officers, the woman was hired to bring the money into the country and then return to Mexico on Friday.

If convicted, the woman could face up to 20 years in prison according to Costa Rica’s laws.

Contact L. Arias at

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