A director of Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) is involved in a money laundering probe that purportedly involves the listed manager of 5Dimes online sport book. Local media, La Nacion reported Tuesday that two accounts associated with Marisol Carvajal Cordero had reported revenues of USD$1,528 million in 2014 (nearly a billion colones, or 10% of Costa Rica’s national budget). According to the outlet the accounts were located in Malta and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai). Costa Rican Times provides an English translation of the article.
BCR closed the accounts in November when they were unable to verify the sources of the funds. The report claims that some of the nearly $1.53 billion in funds was transferred to 5Dimes’ parent company Red Planet. Banks in the U.S., UK, Germany and Spain are said to have transferred some $67 million to Latinamerica Trust & Escrow Company SA (LATCO), a real estate firm in Costa Rica. Most of the money was transferred to other LATCO accounts, with about a third of it going to Panama and Peru accounts and 3% being disbursed in cashier checks.
BCR investigators have said that Marisol Carvajal Cordero’s Woodtree Equipment Limited in Malta and Latitude Global FZE are the foreign companies involved according to the outlet.
Drama and intrigue enter the picture when we see that LATCO is controlled by husband and wife team Manfred Pino and Jennifer Morsink. Morsink controls 23% of the shares and is the company’s treasurer. Pino told the news outlet that the probe is a retaliation by BCR president Paola Mora Tumminelli who suspected Morsink of filing a conflict of interest complaint against the president a couple of months before the accounts were suddenly closed. He also reportedly said that if given more than 72 hours to produce supporting documents regarding the transfers he would have.
Nobody has been charged. There is no indication that U.S. investigators are involved. 5Dimes website and phone lines are up and running.
In an unrelated case involving Central American money laundering issues, on February 22 we reported that Western Union had recently been served a subpoena as part of an ongoing money laundering probe involving betting of some sort. U.S. investigators were seeking details of money transactions by more than 40 Nicaraguan agents from 2008-2013 as well as transactions originating in the U.S. in 2013 and 2014. No charges have been filed in that probe.