March 1st, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) An American mother and her children have been arrested after a routine bag inspection at the Juan Santamaria Airport led to the discovery of $45,820 hidden amongst clothes in their luggage.
Authorities said the family did not declare the cash when boarding their flight to Costa Rica from Miami, nor upon their arrival in the country. By law, those traveling with $10,000 or more in currency must declare the funds to customs officials.
The suspects, 41-year-old Caridad Leiva Maité and her children, Pedro Humberto Figueroa, 18 and Angélica Figueroa, 21 were arrested on suspicion of money laundering. A third child of Maité’s, a 17-year-old minor, was placed into protective custody. All are US citizens, according to authorities.
Authorities said they assume that the cash is the proceeds of some sort of illegal activity, and was being brought to Costa Rica to be laundered.
According to the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ), the arrests were the result of confidential information received by authorities.