Thursday, May 24, 2012

New banking requirements for foreign residents aim to combat money laundering

Foreigners opening bank accounts or making transactions between banks will be required to show new identification starting in July.

Starting July 1 foreign nationals will no longer be able to use their passports to open bank accounts (Ed. note -this is incorrect, please see clarification by the Tico Times here) or transfer funds between banks in Costa Rica.
After the beginning of July, foreigners will be required to present the Foreign person Identification Document (DIMEX)—a new identification card that will contain a 12-digit identification number for each cardholder and information about that person’s immigration status.
Security and Immigration officials announced the new requirements Monday at a press conference at the Ministry of Public Security.
Immigration Administration general director, Kathia Rodríguez,
said they're trying to put “house in order” in terms of the immigration status.
Immigration Administration general director, Kathia Rodríguez, said obligatory use of the DIMEX card in banking transactions is an effort to put Costa Rica’s  “house in order” in terms of the immigration status of the roughly 382,000 foreign nationals currently in the country.
Besides consolidating identification and immigration status in one card, the new requirements will allow security officials to track bank transactions by foreigners in the country—a key step in combating money laundering.
It is a way to see “who does what in the banking system,” said Public Security Minister, Mario Zamora.
Carlos Meleguetti, Director of Financial Services at Banco Nacional said the DIMEX requirements will bring to the foreign population in Costa Rica the same oversight in financial transactions that Costa Rican citizens have had to follow for years. Ticos must present their cédulas (identification cards) to make banking transactions.
Costa Rica is classified as a “major money laundering country” by the United States Department of State in its 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.
The Immigration Administration will issue DIMEX cards to foreigner residents, temporary residents and students who meet the requirements for residency. Current legal residents should contact Immigration to obtain their card.

1 comment:

  1. Raul Castro declared as early as 2007 that Cuba needs more foreign investment, and the Communist Party’s economic reform blueprint reiterated the point: more foreign investment, from more countries, with projects evaluated more promptly and according to broader criteria.

    But not a great deal has happened, as Reuters reports. One long-time investor, Unilever, is pulling out, and the golf course projects remain in the “any minute now” status where they have been for years.

    The current reforms are being rolled out on a timetable that extends to 2015, so maybe everything is right on schedule. One wonders if the iffy health of Hugo Chavez is causing a re-assessment of the timetable.

    Meanwhile, the Economist reports on the arrest of a British subject some weeks ago, and El Universal reports on foreign capital flowing in to invest in houses and businesses

    foreign currency exchange
    foreign currency trading
    foreign money investment