The Malta Independent 5 August 2020, Wednesday

Costa Rica investigates US$1.5 billion laundered through Malta, money originated from Panama

Gabriel Schembri Sunday, 20 March 2016, 11:30 Last update: about 5 years ago

Costa Rican authorities are currently investigating a Costa Rica-based online betting company that allegedly laundered money through a company in Malta.

One of the two companies that allegedly transferred some $1.5 billion, is a company registered in Malta called Woodtree Equipment Limited, whose owners are based in the British Virgin Islands.

The Costa Rican company under investigation is called 5Dimes; it seems that the laundered money was transferred through two companies, one of which is registered in Malta and the other in Dubai.

According to the BCR (Banco de Costa Rica), 5Dimes received the money from Malta and Panama.

Earlier this month, the Costa Rican Times and La Nacion revealed that two companies belonging to a 35-year-old Costa Rican sports book manager had reported $1.5 billion in revenue. The newspaper said that the accounts were located in Malta and the United Arab Emirates. The accounts were closed down in November as authorities could not find the sources of the funds.

The majority shareholder of these companies – Woodtree Equipment Limited and Latitude Global – is a woman named Marisol Carvajal Cordero.

5Dimes’ business name is Red Planet S.A, a parent company listed under Cordero’s name. The bank transfers were made by the Malta-registered Woodtree Equipment Limited. 

The majority shareholder of the Malta-based Woodtree Equipment Limited is Woodtree Group Limited, which in turn is based in the British Virgin Islands.

According to the Bank of Costa Rica, the companies located in Malta had no audited financial statements since 2014, when the $1.5 billion of revenue was reported.

La Nacion also reports that some $67 million were transferred from Caravajal’s accounts to Latinamerica Trust & Escrow Company SA (Latco), a company set up to handle real estate administration in Costa Rica. The money was moved in 25 transfers from the Malta and Dubai companies. Banks in Germany, Spain and the UK were also involved in the transfer. Most of this money was transferred to other Latco accounts. A third of it went to Panama and Peru. 

Meanwhile, 5Dimes is being investigated by the American authorities on suspicion that the company has instructed American bettors to use Amazon gift cards to fund their accounts.

According to the international media, the US Department of Homeland Security has filed a seizure warrant against the company to disrupt funds being channelled through Amazon gift cards. The company operates from San Pedro de Montes de Oca, in Costa Rica.

Investigations are still ongoing.

The accounts were closed down in November as authorities could not find the sources of the funds.

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