Biggest Bank Heist in Costa Rican History Was an Inside Job

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By LatAm Reports Editor

In a stunning revelation, Banco Nacional of Costa Rica has disclosed that the largest bank heist in the country’s history was an inside job, orchestrated by several of its long-serving employees. The heist, involving nearly 3.3 billion Costa Rican colones, was executed by exploiting camera blind spots and impeccable timing.

The theft occurred sometime earlier this year, with bank officials suspecting August as the likely time frame. However, the missing cash was only discovered in early October, and it wasn’t until October 24th that the bank formally reported the incident to the judiciary.

Seven employees, some responsible for the security of the bank’s vault, were initially suspended with pay. They are now under investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office. Three of these employees recently filed habeas corpus petitions, claiming that the bank’s precautionary measures infringe upon their constitutional right to free movement.

On Thursday, these suspects were arrested and brought to court for a preliminary hearing. The court’s preventive measures included detention and the surrender of passports. The bank also released photos showing some of the accused stuffing cash into envelopes inside the vault, while others monitored security cameras.

Bank officials disclosed that the alleged thief regularly bought lottery tickets with the stolen cash, spending hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of colones daily. This unusual spending pattern raised suspicions among the bank’s security personnel, considering the salary of an employee.

Randall Zúñiga, director of the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), emphasized the negligence of other officials in the case. The OIJ is the leading police agency handling the criminal investigation of this unprecedented bank heist in Costa Rica.