Security ministry’s fingerprint unit raided in probe

One of the two security ministry employees is led away for questioning and for an appearance before a judge. Photo: Judicial Investigating Organization

The location is well known for expats who have sought residency. The first-floor location is in the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública across the street from the Centro Comercial del Sur where fingerprints are taken.

Technically the place is called the Archivo Policial.

That is where judicial investigators barged in Wednesday morning to arrest two employees, including the head of the office, identified by the last names of Ortega Guillén. Another employee, identified by the last names of Ramírez Villalobos, also was detained.

They are accused of abuse of authority, embezzlement and accepting bribes, said the Poder Judicial. The ministry is an executive branch agency, and the Judicial Investigating Organization and the judicial police work for the courts.

The Poder Judicial said that the allegations stem from irregularities in the records of the archive and that it appears internal records that are not suppose to leave the office have been taken outside to benefit individuals seeking permits to carry weapons. These documents included paperwork that contained fingerprinting.

The Poder Judicial said that the allegation is that the two men were working with private security companies to expedite the approval of permits to carry weapons for employees of the firms.

The judicial police confiscated a number of records, including books in which fingerprint samples are kept.

Those who seek residency have to submit their fingerprints for a routine check by international police agencies. That is why some expats here decline to seek residency and remain what is known as perpetual tourists, exiting the country to renew their visa every 90 days.

Prosecutors asked a judge in the Juzgado Penal de Hacienda to jail the men for three months, but a final decision was not available late Wednesday.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.