Police uncover $352,000 in cash hidden in bus at Panama border


A selection of the 35 wrapped packets totaling more than $352,000 that police discovered at the Panama border Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.
(Courtesy Public Security Ministry)

Border police discovered a cardboard box hidden behind the front dual-wheels of a bus at a customs stop in Corredores, along Costa Rica’s southern border. Inside the box officers found 35 bricks wrapped in black plastic. Peeling back the wrapping, customs police uncovered $352,610 in cash, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry.

Police arrested the 45-year-old bus driver, identified by the last name Aiza, and another man on board named Ulloa, 47. Both were handed over to the Prosecutor’s Office. Neither had criminal records. In addition to the U.S. dollars, police also found ₡122,000 and Bs20 from Venezuela.

The bus was destined for Panama.

The cash seizure Friday followed another sizable discovery at Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport, where police confiscated more than €85,000 from two Dutch women entering the country Wednesday evening.