In a startling turn of events, Costa Rica’s Banco Nacional1 is grappling with the largest bank robbery in the country’s history. A staggering 3.3 billion colons ($6.1 million) were discovered missing from its vaults three weeks ago, putting the bank and the country’s financial sector under intense scrutiny.
Timeline of the Theft
Jaime Murillo, the interim manager of Banco Nacional, confirmed2 that the money must have been stolen in August or even earlier. The loss was only detected on October 3, raising serious questions about the bank’s internal monitoring systems.
Two area supervisors, a technician, a guard, and an accountant—all of whom worked in the currency-handling sector of the bank—are under investigation. While no arrests have been made, all five have been suspended with pay. Their direct involvement with the area from which the money went missing makes them key subjects in the ongoing inquiry.
Internal Investigation Meets Public Scrutiny
Initially, the bank was conducting a private investigation into the theft. However, the case has now been taken over by national prosecutors after details were leaked to the press, and an official complaint was filed. The change in jurisdiction indicates the serious nature of the crime and its broader implications.
The Silent Security Gap
Details of how the theft was executed remain undisclosed3. The extended period between the suspected time of the robbery and its discovery is concerning, suggesting potential lapses in security measures and surveillance systems.