arrested on drug trafficking charges
A.M. Costa Rica staff
The former director of the main Costa Rican
police force was arrested Wednesday night
for allegedly helping a drug trafficking
organization transport cocaine from
Guanacaste into México and the United
States, according to the Judicial
The arrest took place on the road to
Orotina, in the province of Alajuela. There,
the suspect was caught in a car while
escorting a truck that carried 237 kilos of
cocaine, judicial agents said.
Along with the former director, a Mexican
and two Costa Rican citizen were also
arrested. Inside the car and the truck the
police found a GPS device, a night vision
tool, a nine millimeter pistol, radios and a
.45 caliber Beretta pistol.
According to Michael Soto, director of the
Judicial Investigating Organization, the
investigation against the former director
started in May 2016 in the same road. At the
time, the police caught a Minivan carrying
430 kilos of cocaine. The minivan belonged
to the same group who never carried more
than 500 kilos of the drug.
Soto also explained the director's role was
mainly a logistic one, for he was in charge
of recruiting transporters and determining
the times and dates to do the trafficking.
The cocaine came from South America, he
“This was quite a complicated operation,
because the suspect had all the expertise
needed to avoid getting caught,” Soto added.
The former director was chief of the Fuerza
Pública from July 1, 2007 to April 15, 2008.
He left the police definitely in 2013.
Back in 2009, the man had already raised
suspicion from authorities. At the time, an
airplane carrying 347 kilos of cocaine
crashed in Cerro de la Muerte and the pilot
died. The former director arrived before
judicial investigators arrived at the scene
and then the GPS device of the plane
The device would have been of use to
determine the planes route before the
accident. At the time, the suspect claimed
he arrived to the place without
authorization because the pilot was a good
friend of his.
Ex-director at moment of
arrest. Face removed from original photo.
After he left the Fuerza
Pública, he was involved in the
investigation about the possible murder
of John Bender, a U.S citizen to
whom he offered private security
Bender was a multimillionaire found
dead back in 2010 as a result of a bullet
wound in his head. His wife Ann Bender was
the only witness and claimed her husband
committed suicide. Prosecutors did not
believe that and prosecuted her for
homicide. However, she was never proven
In that case, prosecutors tried to involve
the former director as part of a possible
homicide but he was also cleared of any
charges. A.M. Costa Rica covered that
In 2013, the suspect came also into the
spotlight when he decided to create and
train a group of people who called
themselves La Patrulla 1856.
On its Facebook site, the group claimed to
be ready to defend the Costa Rican
sovereignity from a Nicaraguan invasion.
At the time, Nicaraguan forces were
settled down in Isla Calero, territory
that Costa Rica claimed to be part of the
The former director was taken into custody
and the Ministerio Público will determine
if preventive prison is applied.
companies may be subject to new taxes
of the A.M. Costa
Inactive companies registered before the
Registro Nacional may soon be subject to
regular income taxes, should a bill
presented before the Legislative Assembly is
The draft is sponsored by the legislators
Patricia Mora from Frente Amplio, Marco
Quirós and Marcela Guerrero from Partido
Acción Ciudanana and Carmen Quesada, an
The initiative would allow the Dirección
General de Tributación to monitor commercial
companies and societies of persons who are
inactive. According to the current law, the
Dirección lacks the legal power to request
an income declaration to those
Ms. Guerrerro said there are almost 621,000
companies registered in the Registro
Nacional, out of that amount, 489,000
declare no commercial activities and that's
something that is not normal, she said.
plan would assume those companies are
making profit unless the contrary is
|For that matter,
timely notification will be granted to its
members, Guerrero explained.
She also said that having an inactive
company is not illegal but lots of them are
used for tax avoidance and tax evasion, so
further control is required in order to
adhere to international standards.
According to the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development, approximately
70 percent of Costa Rican companies are not
regularly monitored on taxes due to their
On a report issued in October 2015, the
organization says about 3,000 companies were
found to engage in commercial activities
despite their status between 2011 and 23013.
It is customary that companies are created
to protect property from seizure in case of
debts, felonies and child support.
Currently, inactive companies do pay an
annual fee for its registration and part of
that money is used to fund the police corps.