Agents from Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Police on Thursday morning arrested three employees of the BAC San José branch in Quepos, a port town next to the popular central Pacific tourist destination of Manuel Antonio, on suspicion of money laundering. A fourth suspect, believed to be the ringleader of the operation, is still at large, according to law enforcement sources.
The suspects, surnamed Rivera Quiros, Centeno Pérez and Pereza Jiménez, are accused of exchanging up to $160,000 in small, daily increments into colones and either delivering the cash to the fourth suspect, or depositing it into a bank account under another name. Sources say the group allegedly exchanged between $4,000 and $6,000 a day in order to avoid being flagged by banking laws for amounts over $10,000. According to investigators, the bank employees – including a boss at the BAC San José branch – allegedly received commissions on each transaction.
The investigation is ongoing.