Being imprisoned in La Reforma was no impediment for a Panamanian, named Welch Sevillano, to constitute a money laundering network in partnership with a Costa Rican lawyer.
Welch, a recognized fugitive in his country, would have used money from the drug trade to buy property and a dozen vehicles in Costa Rica. He also had the support from another Costa Rican as his right hand.
The group built a mansion in La Guácima de Alajuela with a value of not less than $ 1 million, with the objective of selling it later.
Francisco Fonseca, deputy prosecutor against organized crime, explained that they raided 3 properties in Alajuela, resulting in the arrest of a man named Torres Olivas, Welch’s right hand abroad, in addition to his lawyer, named Sánchez Pereira.
A few months ago we met with our colleagues in Panama through the Organized Crime Prosecutor Network (REFCO) and shared information… From there, we began an investigation that allowed us to determine that here was a group led by this Panamanian, dedicated to acquire goods of high economic value. They used ‘legal curtains’ so that we couldn’t determine that these were proceeds of illegal activities,”
The investigation was conducted between 2014 and 2016. However, Welch is wanted in his country for drug trafficking and a double homicide from 2007.
Also, the mansion that was being built in La Guácima was stopped due to a lack of municipal permissions. To avoid being surprised, the suspects used a simpler home as a facade.
Welch was a prisoner in Panama. He escaped jail, came to Costa Rica and was free for some time. He was arrested in November 2015 at the request of the Panamanian government for extradition, but in the meantime we started the investigation (…) today, we can hypothesize that this subject acquired substantial assets, which were hidden by a lawyer,”
Among the vehicles seized during the raids, a 4 × 4 armored car stands out. However, the number of vehicles in the possession of the suspects can amount to more than 10, in addition to $1 million in cash. Properties in the South Zone are also been investigated.