Both men face charges in the U.S. for the crimes of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy
to commit money laundering - Public Ministry photo -
Foreigners extradited to the U.S. as suspects of fraud
Published Wednesday, April 28, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday the cancellation of the naturalization process and then the extradition to the United States of two men, Jamaican Citizens, who are the subjects of an open investigation for fraud.
According to the authorities, after the Costa Rican naturalization annulment process ended, the two suspects, surnamed Levy, were turned over to U.S. authorities in response to a request from the Western District Court of North Carolina.
"The case of these people is an example of how we continue working to make people, who take refuge in Costa Rica intending to evade criminal proceedings, face justice, " said Elías Carranza, Prosecutor of the Office of Technical Advice and Relations International.
Both men face charges in the U.S. for the crimes of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering, the Public Ministry said in its statement.
The two men were handed over to U.S. authorities at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela, where they took a flight to the U.S.
According to the Ministry, the denaturalization and extradition orders were executed with a coordinated effort between several organizations, such as the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Consulate of Jamaica and Interpol among others.
In September 2019, agents of the Judicial Investigation Organization and Interpol arrested both men at their homes in Mora Canton, San José Province, and downtown Alajuela, in Alajuela Province.
The resolution of naturalization for Costa Rican citizenship was annulled after authorities verified that both men had served a sentence in the U. S. for crimes linked to drug trafficking, the ministry added.
Once their naturalization was annulled, the extradition request was completed, authorities confirmed.
This is the second case in April of a foreigner extradited from Costa Rica to the U.S.
On April 12, a Dominican citizen, surnamed Polanco, 40, with residence in the U.S., was extradited on suspicion of committing a crime.
In Oct. 2019, Border Police officers from the Guaycará delegation in Golfito Canton, in the southern zone of the country, arrested Polanco, who was named in a warrant from the U.S. Justice Department.
According to the police report, Polanco was wanted by a New York court for a case linked to a murder. The Dominican man was arrested at the Border Police post in Golfito, during a routine review.
"He was traveling as a passenger in a car when he was traveling to San José, apparently coming from somewhere in the border sector with Panama," the police said in its report.
During a routine inspection, the man handed the officers a passport and a driver's license of a U.S. citizen named Michael Dominik John from California.
"At the beginning, everything seemed normal," the police said in its report. "With that identification, there was no criminal record or warrant order."
However, during the routine inspection, the man admitted to the officers that the documents were fake and his real name was Julio Mairena born in Nicaragua, police said.
The officers decided to review the identifications with the Drug Control Police and the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica.
Then, the man was arrested for using a false document and after an investigation, the officers discovered that the true surname of the suspect was Polanco, who was born in the Dominican Republic on Nov. 3, 1980, and that he was the subject of an arrest warrant for a murder case, committed in New York.
According to the police report, Polanco was living in an apartment located in the community of Colima in Tibás Canton, San José Province.
Why would a foreigner with an international arrest warrant live in Costa Rica? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org