Judicial agents said that a band of crooks has been tricking property owners and eventually gaining title and negotiating mortgages
Investigators made four raids Wednesday morning. They were at homes in Atenas, Alajuela and Ciudad Quesada. There was another raid at a lawyer’s office in Alajuela Centro, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.
Three suspects were detained.
Preliminary information suggests that more than one property is involved in the investigation. Agents also said that the crooks used fake documents in some cases in order to establish their ownership of the properties. Once the records in the Registro Nacional showed the fake ownership, the next step was to take out mortgages on the properties.
This type of crime is one reason why the Registro has set up a system of alerts so that property owners are notified if there is any changes in the documentation on their holdings.
The current case appears to involved properties in the San Carlos area. Agents said they are investigating cases that go back to 2009, presumably involving the same suspects.
Although fake documents are involved in the case, agents also said that sometimes property owners were tricked into signing a document that later was used to gain title to the property.
Detained were two Costa Ricans and a Colombian, the agency said.