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Costa Rican authorities arrest OIJ chief in Quepos for illegal detention of US expats

June 17, 2015

Update, 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday:

 

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, authorities provided a little more information regarding today’s arrest of the head of the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) in Quepos, whose last name is Solano. 

According to OIJ Assistant Director Gerald Campos, the alleged victims of Solano’s false arrest are three U.S. citizens – one of them a minor. On May 8, Solano allegedly sent OIJ agents to arrest the three victims unlawfully. They were taken to the OIJ’s local precinct in the central Pacific town of Quepos, where they were interrogated for 2 1/2 hours and released, Campos said. 
A few days later, the OIJ’s administrative offices received a complaint for false arrest by one of the alleged victims, surnamed Frankel. “The OIJ is not allowed to disclose the name of the other man as Frankel was the only one who filed a complaint and the third person is a minor,” the OIJ’s press office told The Tico Times. 

Frankel said the victims were detained following a car pursuit involving two vehicles, and they were held without formal charges.
Following the complaint, the OIJ opened an investigation that led to the arrest of the two suspects. The last name of the second suspect, alias “Bombillo,” is Morales.
“It was an unjustified and unlawful detention,” Campos said. “We ordered Solano’s arrest after we received evidence that there was an unlawful procedure, and we are moving fast [with the investigation] because he will retire in two weeks. For that reason all further details of the investigation must be handled with extreme caution,” Campos said.
Original story continues here:

Costa Rica’s Chief Public Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría has confirmed the arrest on Wednesday of the head of the Judicial Investigation Police, or OIJ, in the central Pacific town of Quepos. The OIJ boss, surnamed Solano, is accused of illegally detaining three North Americans, whose names have not yet been released, in an apparent land dispute with an alleged drug trafficker.

The Tico Times has not yet been able to obtain a statement from Solano.

A second man, alias “Bombillo,” also was arrested. Police have not released his surname, but they said he has been under investigation for alleged drug trafficking.

Authorities suspect “Bombillo” was involved in a land dispute with the North Americans and hired OIJ’s Solano to “scare them” via illegal detention for several hours, citing a non-existent international arrest warrant.

A press conference on the arrests and allegations is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at OIJ headquarters in San José.

This story is developing. If you have information on the case, please contact David Boddiger at dboddiger@ticotimes.net. Follow ticotimes.net for updates. 

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