San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

6 traffic officers arrested for allegedly soliciting bribes from foreigners

Six Traffic Police officers were arrested Monday for allegedly soliciting bribes from drivers along Highway 27 between Orotina and Jacó near the central Pacific coast, according to the daily La Nación.

Drivers were told they had been stopped for speeding, which would result in a fine of ₡300,000 ($600) or more. The officers then allegedly solicited bribes so that the drivers could avoid the citation and fine. Bribe amounts depended on how much money victims had available.

The Judicial Investigation Police first learned of the officers’ activity in September when a victim filed an official complaint. After monitoring the stretch of highway for several weekends, authorities confirmed that the majority of victims were foreigners.

The Public Ministry is asking that the officers, who faced a judge in the Criminal Court of the Treasury on Tuesday, be suspended from their positions while the case is investigated.

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