Two officers of the Fuerza Pública (National Police) were arrested on Thursday (Nov. 29) after following up on a complaint by two Canadian tourists who were charged US$600 dollars to not be detained (arrested) for not carrying their passports.
According to the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) – Judicial Police, akin to Canada’s RCMP (the FBI in the U.S), the detainees are two men aged 31 and 48.
The events occurred on November 14 when the police officials stopped the two Canadian tourists in Santa Ana de Belén, in Carrillo, Guanacaste.
When the officers asked the tourists for their passports, the Canadians indicated that they were not carrying them. The officers told the tourists that in Costa Rica this was a crime and that they had to pay US$600 as a fine to not be arrested.
According to the preliminary investigation, when the tourists did not have the cash on hand, and allegedly the officers escorted the tourists in their “official” vehicle to an ATM in Filadelfia de Carrillo.
The tourists, after commenting to a Costa Rican what they had just experienced, learned that they were, in fact, victims of an extortion. The Costa Rican recommended they to file a complaint with the OIJ, which they did.
Both officials were arrested while on business at the OIJ headquarters in Santa Cruz de Guanacaste.