Liberty Reserve's money laundering spotted in 2009

AP News
Posted: May 31, 2013 7:56 PM

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — Costa Rican officials say the currency transfer firm Liberty Reserve first raised red flags in the Central American country in 2009 when authorities detected money laundering activities.

Anti-drug Institute Deputy Director Bernardita Marin says bank officials reported suspicious activities in 2009 and in 2010 to the government's Financial Intelligence Unit, which began investigating.

The investigation was turned over to prosecutors in 2011, the same year the United States informed Costa Rica about Liberty Reserve's criminal activities.

Marin says that Liberty Reserve moved about $100 million through Costa Rican banks.

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Liberty Reserve's founder Arthur Budovsky was arrested Friday at a Madrid airport while trying to return home to Costa Rica.

U.S. federal prosecutors charged seven people Tuesday, including Budvosky, with running an underworld bank that handled $6 billion around the world.