A new system for real-time connection with International Police (INTERPOL) databases in France allows the Costa Rica Immigration Administration to immediately detect and reject the entry of any person with pending criminal issues.
The monitoring system emits an instant alert as soon as immigration officials verify the passport of a person entering or leaving the country.
It became operational on April 29 and so far has led to the rejection of 14 people, “most of them U.S. citizens who were immediately returned to their country of origin,” Immigration Administration Director Freddy Montero said on Thursday.
The U.S. citizens were rejected while trying to enter Costa Rica through its two most important air terminals: Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela and Daniel Oduber International Airport in Guanacaste.
Montero said that since its implementation the system also led to the arrest of two Costa Ricans and two Nicaraguan nationals who had pending issues in Costa Rica and were trying to leave the country.
Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) Vice Director Gustavo Mata said the new system allows local authorities to access detailed information on persons wanted in 190 countries.
He added that officials are enthused about their new tools, which in addition to helping track sex offenders also help target members of organized crime, and drug and human traffickers. It could even block terrorists who might have entered the country undetected.
The alerts are issued on persons wanted by Interpol, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and it also warns when an immediate arrest warrant has been issued.