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Vol.19 No.0320 Wednesday Edition, March 20, 2019
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Interpol seeks Canadian citizen lost at Tamarindo Beach


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
 

The Interpol Office of the Judicial Investigation Organzation is asking for the help of the public to locate Canadian citizen Alan James More, 48 years old, who disappeared in October 2018.

According to the investigators, Mr. More arrived in Costa Rica by way of the Juan Santamaria airport* in Alajuela, in October last year. He came alone and traveled through tourist sites in the Santa Cruz* and the Tamarindo* area of Guanacaste and stayed at a hotel in Tamarindo.

In October, he called his family to report that his backpack had been stolen with his passport and told them he had filed a robbery complaint of robbery with the police and the Canada Embassy.

That was the last communication he had with the family. After they were unable to contact him, relatives made a complaint directly with Interpol and Interpol contacted agents of the Judicial Investigation Organization on Tuesday.

Agents call on citizens, especially those in the vicinity of Tamarindo, Guanacaste, to report any information that may be helpful in locating Alan James More.

The confidential number is: 800-8000645. Messages can also be sent to the WhatsApp number: 88 00 06 45 of the Confidential Information Center.

Another recent case of an tourist lost in Costa Rica is that of Harvey Lee Bernstein, age 65, and was reported on by A.M. Costa Rica on January 22nd of this year. He had disappeared after two days in San José.

After this case was reported in A.M. Costa Rica, the manager of a Barrio Amon hotel where Bernstein booked a room confirmed that even though he paid for the hotel room, he never stayed there.

Two days after booking the room the U.S citizen returned to the hotel to request his passport and luggage, the hotel manager said. The manager said Bernstein told him that he was going to the airport to take his flight back to the U.S. at 2 a.m. on Monday.

The manager responded to A.M. Costa Rica, as follows:

"This is an update to a story you released about a missing person, Harvey Bernstein. He checked in with us on Wednesday afternoon but never ended up staying with us and was reported missing by his two friends the next morning. Anyway, this morning, at about 12:30 a.m. I received a call from our receptionist that he was at the hotel to pick up his passport, travel bag and was going to the airport for his 2 a.m. flight back to the U.S.," said the hotel manager.

The hotel manager requested that his name and the hotel's name not be revealed.

Where Bernstein stayed is a mystery because even judicial investigators could never reach him to interview him.

After being alerted by a reporter, the Judicial Investigation Organization confirmed that Bernstein did leave the country to return to the United States, as the hotel manager said.

Bernstein arrived with two friends. The trio had rooms reserved at the Barrio Amon* hotel, but on Wednesday, when his friends could not find Bernstein they reported him missing, judicial agents reported.

Another recent unresolved case is that of U.S. businessman William Sean Creighton-Kopko, who was kidnapped on Sept. 24, 2019.



Judicial Investigation Organization courtesy photos

In October, he called his family to report that his backpack had been stolen with his passport and told them he had filed a robbery complaint of robbery with the police and the Canada Embassy.




As A.M. Costa Rica has been reporting, eight Costa Ricans are in pretrial detention for six months in the case.

Five of them were detained in Costa Rica: a man surnamed Vega-Aguirre, a woman surnamed Aguirre-Leal, a man surnamed Martinez-Chacón, a man surnamed Ford-Dauman and a woman surnamed Sanabria-Abarca.

The rest of the suspects were detained in Spain and they are also in jail. A Spanish court is handling an extradition request by Costa Rica. Those suspects were identified as a man surnamed Morales-Vega, a woman surnamed Solis-Chaves and a woman surnamed Vega-Aguirre.

According to the investigation, the men forced the victim into a pickup and drove to a property in the village of La Trinidad in Moravia* where the leader's grandmother, Aguirre-Leal, was living.

After taking the victim to the property in La Trinidad in Moravia, the suspects communicated several times with relatives of the victim. At first, they asked for a ransom of $5 million, but a payment of $950,800 was accepted. The payment was made in bitcoin currencies in four different accounts.

"Once the kidnappers received the ransom, all communication between the suspects and the victim's family ceased," said the investigators.

Investigators theorize that Creighton was targeted for two reasons. The victim had a good income as a result of his sportsbooks company, and the gang members knew that the victim's business involved bitcoin. The kidnappers probably thought that transactions in bitcoins were more difficult to detect, suspect agents.

The case's investigation continues.


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Are the expats too naive when they come to Costa Rica? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to: news@amcostarica.com

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