Raids result in six arrests in fake permits case

Another case of fraud involves the transport ministry, Judicial agents conducted 10 raids and detained six persons Wednesday on allegations that they were issuing fake permits for various types of public transportation.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the crime was facilitated because employees in the Consejo de Transporte Público provided the forms on which the phony permissions were written.

Among the arrests Wednesday were the two former employees of the Consejo, an agency of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes. One was arrested in the Quesada Durán section of San José, and the other was detained in the Sagrada Familia section in the city.

The Consejo quickly put out a press release saying that officials there had reported their suspicions of a crime in February and May 2012.

Bus line operators also were detained.  One has a bus terminal in San Francisco de Dos Ríos, and another was in Guápiles, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Silvia Bolaños, vice minister of Transporte Terrestre y Seguridad Vial, said that 160 fake documents had been detected, according to the Consejo. The agency changed the form of the permission documents and permission stamps in August when the forgeries had become known, it said.

The permissions were for student transport, tourism and other types of passenger service, the Consejo said.

The Consejo said the fake permits were sold for sums ranging from 5,000 colons or about $10 to 1 million colons or about $2,000.

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