Immigration agent accused of faking data on foreigners

Another immigration agent has been detained at Juan Santamaría airport on the allegation that he was helping foreigners fake their trips in and out of the country.

The security ministry identified the man by the last names of Monge Navarro. He is facing a charge of computer fraud.

The ministry said that he had access to the SIMMEL immigration data base that keeps track of who enters and who leaves the country.

He was detained by what the ministry said were fellow members of the Policía Profesional de Migración y Extranjería under the jurisdiction of the frauds prosecutor.

Another immigration agent, identified by the last name of
Gómez, was led away by investigators Nov. 15 under the cloud of the same allegation. He, too, was accused of altering the immigration data base.

The ministryy said that Monge had been under investigation since December. The man has worked for the department since June 2008, investigators said.

The ministry did not explain fully actually what has been alleged. However, tourists can extend their stay here if they leave the country just as their visa expires. For North Americans that is every 90 days. Others who are illegal here can use fake data to show that they just arrived.

Gómez faces an allegation of legalizing the status of the four immigrants from Columbia via fake computer data. He was the subject of a telephone tip in June. There was no indication that the two cases are related.

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