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Monday, April 22, 2024

Costa Rica Cracks Down on Airbnb Theft Operation

Costa Rica’s Tourism Police is currently conducting investigations into two criminal organizations operating along the coastal areas of the country, particularly in the Pacific region.

The criminals have adopted a sophisticated approach by utilizing Airbnb to lure tourists into renting seemingly affordable vacation properties, only to fall victim to organized theft.

Head of security, Mario Zamora, revealed that criminal operations have evolved, incorporating intelligent strategies to target vacationers. The modus operandi involves the criminals offering attractively priced housing units to tourists.

Upon arrival, unsuspecting visitors leave their rented properties for sightseeing, providing the criminal groups with an opportunity to execute their theft operations.

Public security officials stated that criminals possess security codes that grant them unauthorized access to the rented properties. Judicial authorities support this theory, emphasizing that the targeted houses do not exhibit signs of forced entry. This method allows the criminals to discreetly pilfer tourists’ belongings without leaving any obvious traces of their illegal activities.

To date, the Tourism Police have confirmed two cases related to this criminal activity, both of which are now undergoing legal proceedings. Mario Zamora expressed optimism that justice will be swiftly served in these instances.

“These two cases that we have identified are currently at the judicial level, and we hope that they will move forward promptly so that justice can be applied in this specific case,” emphasized Zamora.

In response to the escalating issue, security authorities have established a service at the airport to facilitate the filing of complaints by affected tourists. Recognizing the challenges tourists face in reaching the offices of the corresponding authorities, this initiative aims to streamline the reporting process.

Zamora commended the efforts of the Tourist Police within the Ministry of Public Security, acknowledging their expertise in tackling this evolving form of criminal activity. He noted the shift from conventional thefts involving cameras or backpacks to more sophisticated operations targeting vacationers.

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