Costa Rica moves on massive public corruption investigation

Jun 14, 2021, 10:25 AM | Updated: 11:17 am

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — Costa Rican authorities executed dozens of searches and arrests Monday as part of a sprawling public corruption investigation centered on the awarding of road construction and maintenance contracts.

Walter Espinoza, director of the Judicial Investigation Organization, said it was one of the most impactful public corruption investigations ever.

With bribes ranging from vehicles to properties, cash and personal favors, a group of private companies ensured that public officials helped them win and pad government contracts, Espinoza said.

At 7 a.m. local time, teams of agents began carrying out 57 searches, 14 of them public institutions, including the offices of the president. The searches were aimed at collecting documentary evidence of crimes. Espinoza said authorities would try to arrest 32 people Monday, including 19 public officials, but that 40 more had been identified and cases were still being built against them.

One of the judicial orders was for the arrest of Camilo Saldarriaga, one of President Carlos Alvarado’s closest advisers.

Authorities calculated that the scheme created a budget deficit in the roads department of about $127 million between 2018 and 2020. The investigation focused on the National Roadway Council, which is part of the Public Works and Transportation Ministry.

The investigation began in 2019, after some people brought information to authorities showing that public officials were favoring a group of companies in contracting, Espinoza said. Among the companies allegedly involved are Constructora Meco and H. Solis, well-known in Costa Rica for winning government contracts.

Among the alleged crimes were bribery, embezzlement, irregular payments, influence peddling, misuse of funds and illegal association, he said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Spirit wins takeoff and landing rights at key Newark airport

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spirit Airlines will get valuable takeoff and landing times that Southwest Airlines is abandoning at busy Newark-Liberty International Airport near New York City. The U.S. Transportation Department said Tuesday that Spirit “is most likely to provide the lowest fares to the most consumers” at the airport in Newark, New Jersey. JetBlue Airways […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Mother drowned children, then killed herself

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Three children whose bodies were found in a suburban Minneapolis lake over the holiday weekend died in drownings that were classified as homicides, and their mother died of a drowning that was suicide, authorities said Tuesday as they also identified the victims. Searchers recovered the bodies of Molly Cheng and […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Judge OKs transfer plan for beagles from troubled facility

CUMBERLAND, Va. (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday approved a plan that calls for transferring about 4,000 dogs currently housed at a troubled Virginia breeding facility to shelters where they can be adopted, according to court records. The development came in a civil enforcement case the federal government initiated in May against Envigo RMS, […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

North Carolina man pleads guilty in police officer’s death

MOIUNT HOLLY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges stemming from the fatal shooting of a police officer in 2020, authorities said. During his hearing, Joshua Tyler Funk, 24, of Mount Holly, entered a guilty plea for murder, news outlets reported. In exchange for his plea, the other charges […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Federal appeals court greenlights federal deportation policy

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Federal guidance prioritizing the deportation of people in the country illegally who pose the greatest public safety risk can be implemented, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. At issue is a September directive from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that paused deportation unless individuals had committed acts of terrorism, espionage […]
17 hours ago
FILE - This April 10, 2022 image shows the Rio Grande flowing just north of Albuquerque, N.M. The f...
Associated Press

Western states could settle feud over beleaguered Rio Grande

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The fight between Texas and New Mexico over the management of one of the longest rivers in North America could be nearing an end as a date to resume the trial has been put off pending negotiations aimed at settling the years-long case before the U.S. Supreme Court. New Mexico Attorney […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Costa Rica moves on massive public corruption investigation