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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 243
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Two held in laundering and drugs case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two men suspected of having ties to a money laundering operation run by a Panamanian drug trafficker were arrested Wednesday morning at their homes at the Hacienda Los Reyes, La Guácima, the Judicial Investigating Organization said.

The investigation began in 2013 where the group has been linked to several instances of crime including the smuggling of 900 kilos of drugs in Quepos. The drugs were being transported by several men in a vehicle. Agents also confiscated around $14,000 in funds of dubious origins earlier this year. The money was supposed to go to a relative of the Panamanian in Jacó, officials said.

One of the men arrested is presumed to be a lawyer in charge of the legal face of the operation who had managed to hide, through various sales and other accounts, proceeds collected from drug trafficking, officials said.  A second man arrested was in charge of maintaining the property of the alleged head of the operation named Welch Sevillano, who is currently incarcerated in a maximum security cell at La Reforma for charges of drug trafficking and two counts of homicide in his country. This second person is apparently the step-father to the inmate's girlfriend.

Sevillano escaped from the La Joya Prison Panama in 2004 after he and six other inmates cut bars in their cells and cut through a fence, according to the Panamanian press group Día a Día. He was found in Costa Rica in December of last year where he currently awaits extradition back to Panama.

During the arrests, police seized four cars, including one armored vehicle,  and they also raided the attorney’s office in Sabana Sur. The total value of everything seized amounted to over $2 million dollars, officials said.

Two police officers face robbery case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Investigators have arrested two police officers who are being accused of robbing a woman in La Aurora, Alajuelita.

The security ministry said that the case was dealt with immediately after it was reported Tuesday afternoon. Two officers with the last names of Calderón and Venegas are the accuseds. According to the ministry, Calderón joined the force in 2011 and Venegas joined in 2007.

Gustavo Mata, the minister of Seguridad Pública, said the agency plans to open a formal case against the two policemen in full compliance with the standards the law requires. The Judicial Investigating Organization was involved, and the men also face criminal allegations.

The women who has been identified as a victim showed up at the La Aurora station Tuesday to report that she had been robbed after she left a bank.

Saturday snack tour planned in capital

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The ChepeCletas organization will be gathering at Parque España opposite to the Instituto Nacional Seguros building around 9:15 a.m. Saturday for a walking tour and a sampling of the city’s snacks and drinks complete with a pass through the Mercado Central and various historic buildings, organizers said. The tour, called GastroNocturbano, is supposed to end around noon.

To participate in the event, organizers require a reservation at the organization website. There is a participation fee of 5,000 colons. This includes all the tasting samples throughout the tour.

ChepeCletas is an organization founded in 2010 with the original purpose of seeking sustainable ways environmentally and socially to mobilize, the website said. They are known for their bike hikes through town.
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