Russian Billionaire Has Cash Seized at Costa Rica’s Main Airport

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One of Russia’s wealthiest individuals had over $20,000 in cash seized yesterday afternoon, Thursday, October 26, 2017, at Costa Rica’s main Juan Santamaría International Airport near San José when he was leaving for his home country after a vacation.

Andrei Bokarev, 51, whose wealth is estimated by Forbes at $1.69 billion, had arrived in a private jet earlier in the week and participated in a fishing tournament at a luxury hotel in Jacó, according to airport officials.

He and his business partner, also a Russian and with the last name of Urotadze, were carrying over $20,000 in cash, which exceeds the limit of $10,000 per person allowed upon entering and exiting the country, said Security Minister Gustavo Mata.

“The men indicated that they had brought the money to pay tips; the money was confiscated as it exceeded the US$10,000 limit,” Mata said.

The money was discovered during a security scan of their carry-on baggage at about 1 p.m.

The foreigners entered the country Monday on a private flight, and two hours after their cash was seized, they managed to leave via private jet with three other Russians.

Bokarev runs Transmashholding, maker of rolling stock for railways and subway systems, one of the largest Russian machinery construction companies for railways and subwayss, according to Forbes business magazine.

An avid skier, Bokarev is also president of the Russian Ski Sports Association and the Freestyle Federation of Russia. According to Forbes, his real time net worth as of Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 is $1.69 billion.

He also apparently likes sport fishing. Hopefully this uncomfortable incident in the airport won’t tarnish his image of Costa Rica.

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