Fingerprints sometimes find scofflaws

When an expat goes to the security ministry to provide fingerprints for a residency application, he or she might not come home.

The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública said Wednesday that 185 persons over the last three years were found to have unfinished court business when they showed up to be fingerprinted for a background check.

The judicial action might be a criminal warrant or other requirements to show up in court, said the ministry.

The fingerprints are taken routinely by those seeking residency. Most wanted individuals are probably too smart to do that. In fact, some of the country’s perpetual tourists decline to seek residency status for that reason. But 14 persons on the wanted list did show up this year, the ministry said.

Also seeking fingerprints and a background check are those after a gun permit or permission to be a security guard.

Of course some who are considered wanted might not know that. The judiciary’s notification system is backlogged. In fact, one woman associated with A.M. Costa Rica who filed an indecent exposure complaint against a man who confronted her naked in a city park was asked to serve him the court summons herself because officials could not find him. She declined.

The ministry still uses paper and ink for prints.

The ministry still uses paper and ink for prints.

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