Costa Rica News – The lawyer Manfred Pino defends the legality of the Latinamerica Trust & Escrow Company (Latco) which has been tied into a money laundering case in Costa Rica.
In particular, he defends the $ 67 million Latco companies, Woodtree Latitude Equipment Limited and Global FZE, received. Both of these companies have the majority share holder as the Costa Rican Marisol Carvajal Cordero who is a manager at a sportsbook. Those two companies reported revenue of over $1.5 billion in 2014 in Malta and the United Arab Emirates, their countries of origin.
Pino gave an interview to two journalists from The Nation on Tuesday at noon in a private room in the Hilton Garden Inn in La Sabana.
Here is an excerpt of the interview with Pino, which constantly was interrupted by his lawyers, who stopped him from answering certain questions.
This is translated from La Nacion.
How do you define the relationship between Latco and Marisol Carvajal?
She’s a client of Latco in the division of trusts.
How long have you known her?
For many years. No lie. Since Marisol was 13 or 14 years old and played tennis at the Cariari Country Club, and then we reunited about 5 years ago.
A mutual acquaintance.
Can you say who?
No, because I do not want more people knocking on doors of other people.
Who proposed the trusts?
She asks us what services we provide, I explained the services and she was interested.
What Projects were chosen?
That information is already with the prosecution.
What did she say exactly in the Meeting?
Do you remember what you ate for breakfast five years ago? (…). I do not remember. I remember talking to her, offered her services, told me that while he was interested and she began working with us.
Did she tell you what she did?
Yes, she told me.
What did she say?
Her company is a major sportsbook and development of software for online casinos.
Latco by law has to evaluate each client, what rating was given to her?
Therewith we were in compliance with that the law requires.
Has any other bank closed your accounts?
Personally, yes. It must happen to every person who has faced a scandal; unfortunately, and now I need to show my innocence.
The BCR says that it was required clear information about the source of these escrows, what type of information did you give them?
This is a very important subject, which are the management and the time lapse given by the BCR to deliver the information. It’s obvious that they wanted to do what they did, the time lapse was short enough to start the ruckus (…) The thing is that, this lady (Paola Mora, president of the Board of Trustees of the BCR) came out with the media starting all the media show.
Is it Lacto’s obligations to have the updated information of their clients?
No, if I am asked to, I will provide it
Will they were satisfied with the financial statements being audited Woodtree, if the company is in Malta?
We satisfied the compliance officer of BCR and the statement between 2007 to October 2015 were given.
In other trusts that you have are there funds from foreign companies?
Most likely yes.
And those customers, when they send the financial statements, they do so from their country of origin?
Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t (…) you are taking the BCR report as the word of God, I just showed you that this lady (Mora) is our enemy, how can you believe it like the word of God if this is a hate-promoted activity? And you have all the right to believe it, but don’t ask us to answer things about this report, because it is not accurate.
Do you assure that these were audited financial statements?
I assure you that we comply with the law.
Why 30% of funds from Woodtree Latitude leave the country?
You have to ask her, I do not know how you spend your money, you should ask her what she does with hers.
But of that money, $ 700,000 went to into your own accounts (in UAE and the United States).
I have a right to live, I have the right to make money.
Did you get that money?
I do not know.
And if you received it, I did you report it to the Treasury?
It depends on where the activity is generated. If I, Manfred Pino, I offer professional services to a company domiciled abroad and the services are abroad, it is a non-taxable activity.
What is your current relationship with the Carvajal?
We keep working together.
Have you contacted her?
We had contact until the scandal broke and until she married, 15 or 22 days ago.
And these days?
No, I wrote an email, but the email immediately gave me an automatic response.