Money Laundering ... with Soap!

Despite its name, there usually isn't any actual washing involved in money laundry, so it's natural that Costa Rican investigators got suspicious of a new money laundering scheme which involves soap.

Lots and lots of soap:

The moment money launderers get lazy is the moment they get caught. Such is the case with two men who allegedly decided that transferring a lump sum of $9.7 million to buy 10 million bars of soap wouldn’t turn any heads.

Late Thursday, Costa Rican investigators raided the office (Spanish link) of Alvaro Moya, a Costa Rican lawyer, and the hotel room of Agustín Lyon, a Venezuelan national, to gather more evidence about the extent of their suspected money laundering scheme. Authorities were tipped off when a bank in Costa Rica flagged a bank account tied to Lyon’s name for suspicious activity.

Shortly after $9.7 million was deposited into Lyon’s account by government-owned Venezuelan companies for the purchase of 10 million bars of soap, nearly $6 million more flooded in. Because the extra cash came in without an explanatory receipt, and Lyon promptly withdrew $1.2 million of it, the bank  froze the accounts. 

Roberto A. Ferdman of QZ has the story: Link (Image: Snake Oil Soap from the NeatoShop)


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