The first one got away. The second of the alleged 16 members of the gang in the Escuza jewellery store heists on October 31, didn’t run into the same luck or (alleged) corruption of immigration officials.

Estaban Obando, interim Director of Migración (immigration service) said the alert for the Mexican national came Saturday night when the young man tried to leave the country by the way of the Juan Santamaria (San Jose) international airport

Immigration officials immediately alerted the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) according to Obando, who said, “the system, in this case, alerted us and we proceed to make the respective communications with the OIJ, who arrived at the airport and performed the respective procedure.”

On Halloween, nine men stormed the Eurochronos jewellery store located in Multiplaza Escazú. Using face masks – being Halloween they foiled security – toy guns and small sledgehammers (mazos in Spanish), they robbed the store of yet unknown amount.

Minutes away, literally, four others heisted a jewellery store in Plaza Colonia, in Escazu.

In both cases, the thieves made their getaway.

However, the OIJ says they have identified a number of the members of the gang believed all to be Mexican nationals, in particular, five arriving in the country days before the heists, with the one sole purpose and intent.

On Friday we learned that one of the members of the gang was able to leave the country by way of the San Jose airport when an immigration official did not respond to the alert in the system.

The official is now under internal investigation and may face suspension and criminal charges for apparent breach of duties


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