Twelve Arrested in Connection With 5Dimes Tony Disappearance
Costa Rica news outlet La Nacion is reporting that 10 people have been arrested in connection with the September 2018 disappearance and presumed kidnapping of William Sean Creighton, popularly known in the Costa Rican sport-betting scene as 5Dimes Tony.
Creighton, whose body was at one point reported as having been found by several of Costa Rica’s Spanish-language news outlets, remains officially missing, though the arrests of the 12 — all citizens of Costa Rica — indicate that Costa Rica’s OIJ (Organismo de Investigación Judicial) is close to completely unraveling the case.
According to La Nacion and the Costa Rica Star, another Costa Rican outlet tracking the latest developments, the arrests of the 12 occurred via a series of raids made by OIJ officials. The OIJ conducted 10 raids in various Costa Rican locations, while an 11th raid occurred in Spain, where the alleged mastermind of the scheme fled with his partner and mother after successfully receiving a large amount in Bitcoin-based ransom payments from Creighton’s Costa Rican wife.
La Nacion has also identified the alleged mastermind of the scheme, who fled to Spain, as Morales Vega. Vega worked as a computer engineer, and he fled to Spain with his partner, Solís Chaves, and his mother, Vega Aguirre. The three will be extradited back to Costa Rica to face the expected charges in the case, which may well include murder, since Creighton was most likely killed as part of the scheme.
La Nacion has also identified most of the other suspects, who were detained in raids occurring in Cartago, La Union, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Guadalupe, Moravia, Siquirres and Limón. The disclosure describes two other people related to Vega, his uncle Vega Aguirre and his grandmother, Aguirre Leal.
Two officers of Costa Rica’s Traffic Police, Jirón López and Medrano Vargas, were among the seven others arrested.
The ransom — believed to be the equivalent of between US $750,000 and $1 million — was made online via Bitcoin transfers to one or more theoretically anonymous recipients, yet the owners of the account(s) receiving the ransom payments were identified via lengthy investigations. (Bitcoin transactions are not truly anonymous, despite the encryption embedded within transfer protocols.)
Creighton’s disappearance on September 24th provided a stark reminder that the grey-market offshore gambling scene in Costa Rica, catering largely to an unofficial US market, carries some unusual dangers. Creighton reportedly traveled with a bodyguard in most circumstances, but was not so accompanied on the day of his disappearance, when he was last reported as having dropped off a 5Dimes co-worker. Creighton’s Porsche Cayenne, a high-priced vehicle that would have stood out virtually anywhere in Costa Rica, was crashed and later recovered at a scene not believed to be connected to the actual kidnapping.
It is expected that more details of the sad and sordid affair will occur as the investigation continues and Vega and the others are, presumably, brought to trial.