Judicial investigators have detained five persons in what is being described as an extortion attempt involving impounded vehicles.
One of the persons detained is a lawyer in Alajuela. Another, a woman, is a specialist in handling motor vehicle violations.
Three other persons, all men in their 20s, also were detained.
The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the crime centered around vehicles that had been impounded because of traffic infractions.
Judicial agents allege that the lawyer issued false documents nominating other persons to recover the vehicle. The documents were in the name of the real owner and the young men are accused of impersonating the owners to obtain the vehicle.
Once in possession of the vehicle from the government impound lot, the vehicle owner would be contacted and asked to pay a fee to get it back, said agents. The amount ranged from 80,000 to 100,000 colons, about $160 to $200, said agents.