Six traffic officers detained on suspicion of bribery

The Judicial Investigating Organization detained traffic policemen Monday morning on the allegation that they were extorting drivers who they pulled over and asked them for bribes in place of facing a hefty fine.

The group of six detainees, five men and one woman, operated primarily along Route 27, the San José-Caldera highway, and were stationed in Orotina in Alajuela.

The accused officers had anywhere between two and 10 years experience working as traffic officials. Included were a pair of brothers.

In an effort to disclose the supposed scam, judicial agents launched an investigation and discovered
that transit officials supposedly stopped drivers and accused them of going at high speeds on the road.

Typically that carries a fine of about $600, but the transit officials are accused of instead offering to settle with a bribe.

The investigation began after one of the victims reported a similar incident to judicial police in September. According to the investigators, the bribes varied by driver, depending on the on-the-spot amount each person could pay. Investigators claim foreigners and locals were targeted equally without discretion.

Monday agents raided the local transit patrol center in question and confiscated radar guns and record logs and made arrests of the officers.

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