June 19th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) President Laura Chinchilla said yesterday that Costa Rica is “cleaning house” of organized crime, and challenged other countries in the region to “dare” to do the same.
The statement came during a press conference yesterday, in which Chinchilla addressed reporters regarding revelations of human organ trafficking in the country, as well as the shutdown of Liberty Reserve, which has been called the largest money laundering operation in history.
“We’ve performed two important operations, and far from ashamed, we should feel good because our system is working, we are cleaning house, and hopefully some other countries around us dare to do the same,” Chinchilla said.
Chinchilla’s remarks come a day after a top physician at the state-ran Calderon Guardia Hospital was arrested on suspicion of being part of an international organ trafficking network with connections to Israel and Eastern Europe.
The remarks also come less than a month after international authorities dismantled Costa Rica-based Liberty Reserve. Authorities are calling Liberty Reserve the largest money laundering operation in history, calling it the “bank of the criminal underworld.” Liberty Reserve is charged with laundering more than $6 billion.
In her statement, Chinchilla took credit for the Liberty Reserve investigation, saying that Costa Rican financial intelligence agents initiated the investigation against Liberty Reserve in 2009, and later involved the United States to help dismantle the money laundering operation with the assistance of other countries.