Talent Canada
Talent Canada

Global HR News Global HR News
Costa Rica’s $6 million National Bank heist was an inside job, authorities say

Avatar photo

November 9, 2023
By The Associated Press

Little by little an employee of Costa Rica’s National Bank took advantage of a surveillance blindspot to slip more than $6 million worth of currency into envelopes and casually walk out of the country’s largest bank, authorities said Wednesday.

First announced last month, it was the largest bank heist in the country’s history. Police carried out 11 raids and arrested eight bank officials Wednesday.

The 3.3 billion colon (US$6.1 million) robbery that apparently went unnoticed and unreported for weeks caused much finger-pointing in the Central American nation.

There were no lack of distressing details.


For example, while one employee, a treasurer, took the cash out of the bank, several others allegedly covered it up. Authorities are still trying to determine if they were in on the robbery or just didn’t want to take the blame when it was discovered the money was missing.

Also, the last physical accounting of the bank’s cash was made in 2019. And investigators are looking into whether the bank’s legal director issued an order to delay a report about the missing money.

But perhaps most likely to cause head shaking bemusement was the allegation that one of those involved suddenly began spending as much as $6,000 a day on lottery tickets.

“There was neglect on the part of all of the other officials,” Randall Zuniga, director of the Judicial Investigation Department said. “They did not sufficiently look into the fact that this person was taking this money. He was able to very casually leave with the envelope in his hands, passing through the security points and there was no internal control.”

Attorney General Carlo Diaz said additional investigation, including reviewing suspects’ bank accounts, was necessary to determine the role of others.

Print this page


Stories continue below