San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

… Beware of Bandits Posing as Cops Too

Another scam reveals criminals are becoming more sophisticated in Costa Rica.

Police arrested three men on June 22 in Ciudad Neily in Puntarenas near the border of Panama with an impressive assortment of police gear and illegal firearms: camouflage clothing with the National Police logo, bulletproof jacket, sirens, security cones, four communication radios, three pistols and a 12-gauge shotgun.

Local officials say they were planning to set up an illegal checkpoint to assault and rob people.

However, prosecutors already released two of the men and aren’t pursuing charges against them, Ciudad Neily Police Capt. Gonzalo Godoy said.

A third is still in custody after officials realized he is wanted in a separate case for aggravated robbery.

“For me, it’s a crime what they did, having the uniforms and the illegal firearms,” Godoy said. “The problem is this country is such a guarantor of rights, and the laws are so obsolete.”

The prosecutor’s office gave no explanation for not pursuing charges against two of the men. Godoy said part of the problem is the men were arrested before they committed assaults or robberies. But he said he thought the crimes of illegal firearms possession warrant prosecution.


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