More funds sought for wiretapping center

The court president called Wednesday for more money for the judicial wiretapping center.

Zarela Villanueva Monge, president of the Corte Suprema de Justicia, brought up the subject at a meeting with representatives of other government branches.

She said without further explanation that the Centro Judicial de Intervención de las Comunicaciones managed to save nine lives in 2016.

The center went into operations in the middle of 2015 in San Joaquín de Flores with funds from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Now the center is working at capacity handling just 23 percent of the phone lines to be monitored. The rest are being monitored under the previous system that was handled by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

Some 18 percent of the cases in 2016 were corruption crimes involving public employees, said the magistrate. She added that 46 percent of the cases were drug investigations.

The court president said the center needs more financial resources and cooperation. She suggested agreements with other countries to expand the scope in the fight against organized crime.

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