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FIFA scandal: Costa Rica opens money laundering probe of Eduardo Li

Updated at 11:27 a.m. on Wednesday with comments from Costa Rican foreign affairs officials.

Following the early-morning arrest Wednesday of several FIFA leaders, including Costa Rican Eduardo Li, in a massive corruption probe spearheaded by the United States Justice Department, Costa Rica has now opened an inquiry into Li’s assets here, a high-ranking Costa Rican justice official told The Tico Times.

According to Celso Gamboa, acting deputy at Costa Rica’s Prosecutor’s Office, the U.S. Justice Department is collaborating with Costa Rican prosecutors in the ongoing probe in order to determine if any crimes were committed in Costa Rica.

“Most of today’s events occurred outside Costa Rica’s jurisdiction, but it is our responsibility to follow up on that and find out if any crimes were committed here,” Gamboa told The Tico Times, referring to Li’s arrest in Zurich.

Costa Rican investigators are now studying properties, bank accounts and other assets linked to Li, he said.

If Li was discovered to have committed any crimes here related to the case, the U.S. likely would have the first opportunity to extradite and prosecute him.

Li, the president of the Costa Rican Football Federation and a FIFA executive committee member was arrested along with six other FIFA officials at a luxury hotel in Zurich where they were preparing for a congress starting Thursday. All now face deportation to the United States on charges of accepting more than $100 million in bribes.

A spokeswoman for Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry, Melissa Durán, confirmed that the Costa Rica Embassy in Switzerland so far has been unable to contact Li.
Costa Rican Ambassador to Switzerland Isabel Montero currently is establishing contact with the Cantonal Police Precint in Zurich, where Li has been in custody since Wednesday morning.

Foreign Vice Minister Alejandro Solano said officials also are in conversations with judicial authorities in Zurich to determine the implications of the charges against Li, brought by U.S. officials.

L. Arias contributed. This story is developing. Follow updates at www.ticotimes.net.

Read more here: Costa Rica’s soccer chief arrested in FIFA corruption probe

Contact David Boddiger at dboddiger@ticotimes.net54

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Dan Gibson

Corruption and graft in ”past Costa Rican governments” — say it is not so!!!!! Oh mi dios — the sky is falling!!! And — just what entity is telling Costa Rica this — none other than the corruption and graft center of the world — the United States of America and all of its ”bought and paid for” — politicians!!!

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DRMeno

That is so true and the BIGGEST irony about all of this. The rest of the world views this the same. How hypocritical for the USA. There most corrupt country going after corruption around the world. AND what about the FBI’s involvement in international affairs. That is illegal too.

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Gerry Adams

Costa Rica goverment just got told by the US goverment there is some very big coruption in Past Costa rican goverments. Expect people to start talking soon about all the crap that has happened. Eduardo Li is going to talk about PLN and expect thing to come out. Eduardo Li will throw people under the bus.

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