Get our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox
I have already subscribed | Do not show this message again
Your email has been successfully registered.
The investigation started in April 2019 when Costa Rica´s Air Surveillance Service reported to OIJ about considerable amounts of gold being legally exported from Costa Rica to the United States.
Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) arrested 23 people as part of an ongoing investigation on money laundering and the export of illegally extracted gold valued in $60 million on Thursday.
The OIJ's director Walter Espinoza said that 33 raids were carried out at the San Carlos locality as well as Pocosol, Cutris, San Ramón, Heredia, Alajuela, San José, Puntarenas, Abangares and Corcovado.
The OIJ is after 36 suspects from an organization that has illegally extracted gold in the Corcovado National Park as well as a farm in the locality of Cutris.
The investigation started in April 2019 when Costa Rica's Air Surveillance Service reported to OIJ the considerable amounts of gold being legally exported from Costa Rica to the United States.
(VIDEO) Director del OIJ: Sospechosos sacaron del país kilos de oro valorados en $60 millones - https://t.co/V0ibW5Vasa
"(VIDEO) Director of the OIJ: Suspects took out of the country kilos of gold valued at $ 60 million."
Espinosa explained that the gold from these places was transferred to Abangares in Guanacaste province. According to the official, there are makeshift mines with operation permits in Abangares, so the gold was processed there and then exported to the United States with legal documents.
The OIJ reported that 2.500 kilos of gold valued at $60 million were legally exported to the U.S. since the investigation started in 2019. The destinations identified thus far are Houston, Miami, and Los Ángeles. However, the authorities warned that the figures could be higher.
Espinosa noticed that gold had been transported as well to neighboring countries north of Costa Rica, particularly Nicaragua. However, this trafficking has occurred in a less sophisticated way since the carriers are mostly miners who live in these countries and travel to Crucitas to work.
The OIJ director also explained that the police are carrying a parallel inquiry on the environmental conditions in which the gold was extracted. Pit gold mining is prohibited in Costa Rica.