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In a more detailed inspection of the luggage, the officers discovered what appears to be a double covering on the structure of the suitcase,
where several packages containing money were attached.
  - Ministry of Security photo -









Published Monday, June 21, 2021


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Airport Police officers in a joint operation with Drug Control Police detained a Venezuelan man surnamed Isea-Hernández, 30, as a suspect of hiding $130,600 in his suitcase.

According to the police report, during the weekend he arrived in the country on a flight from Mexico to the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in Alajuela Province.

During a routine inspection at the Migration checkpoints, where luggage must go through a scanning system, officers were alerted about the suspicious content in the suitcase.

In a more detailed inspection of the luggage, the officers discovered what appears to be a double covering on the structure of the suitcase, where several packages containing money were attached.

A video of the suitcase dismantling and the discovery of what allegedly are dollar bills, released by the Ministry of Security, can be seen on the AM Costa Rica YouTube channel.

The suspect, who had scheduled an outbound trip to Mexico on Tuesday, June 22, was taken to the cells of the Public Ministry in Alajuela Province where he was interrogated by the judicial agents and after that, he must wait until a judge orders the pre-trial measures against him.

The police seized the money and the remains of the suitcase as part of the evidence in the case.

According to the airport passenger guide, published by Aeris, the company in charge of managing the airport, when entering or exiting the country, all citizens or tourists must declare all cash or securities they are carrying if the amount is equal to or greater than $10,000 or the equivalent in another currency.

The official forms must be used for this declaration, which is available by Customs officers at the immigration checkpoints. This requirement follows Article 35 of Law No. 8204 entitled Law on Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances, Drugs of Unauthorized Use, Money Laundering and Related Activities.

Authorities recommend for visitors to review the rules for entering or leaving the country on the Aeris website.

This is the second case reported by authorities this month of a tourist detained at the Alajuela airport as a suspect of hiding cash in their suitcase.



Last week, airport police officers arrested two foreigners, of Mexican nationality, on suspicion of hiding more than $48,000 in cash.

The judicial agents call on the population to report any suspicion of precious metals or cash trafficking to the confidential line 800-8000-645. Their bilingual agents can answer calls in English or Spanish.

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What is the punishment in your country for cash trafficking? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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