UPDATED April 17
QCOSTARICA – Model, television presenter and former Miss Costa Rica 2018, Natalia Carvajal Sánchez, was arrested this Friday, morning, April 16, at the Juan Santamaría International Airport, also known as the San Jose airport, for allegedly using a false covid test to leave the country.
The former Miss Costa Rica is being investigated for the alleged crime of using a false document, confirmed the airport police, the Deputy Prosecutor’s Office of Alajuela and Carvajal’s mother.
The Air Surveillance Service (SVA), which is part of the Ministry of Public Security (MSP), indicated through its press office that “it apprehended a woman named Carvajal at the Juan Santamaría international airport, in Alajuela, since she presented apparently false PCR evidence”.
Carvajal remained in detention awaiting a hearing in the Flagrancy Court.
The MSP indicated, through its press office, that they were informed of the arrest, but that
Her mother, doña Arleth Sánchez, confirmed that Natalia will refer to what occurred at a later time, but that she did confirm that her daughter had a problem when trying to leave the country.
“Our lawyers are already addressing the matter and out of respect for the process, we cannot refer to it for now. As soon as possible, we will do so with all possible transparency,” assured attorney Mario Córdoba Zárate, Carvajal’s representative.
Natalia Carvajal returned to Costa Rica in recent weeks to work promoting “Nace una estrella”, Costa Rica’s television production of “A Star is Born”.
She had in the United States this past year in search of artistic development.
It is known if she was traveling to the United States that requires a Covid PCR or antigen test before boarding a flight, or to another country that requires the test.
In Costa Rica, private clinics and hospitals are providing antigen and PCR testing with results the next day within an hour in the case of the antigen and the next day for PCR and within an hour for the antigen, prices ranging from US$65 to US$100.
The former Miss Costa Rica was released and without any precautionary measures. Her lawyer Mario Córdoba Zárate explained what happened at the hearing.
“What was done today (Friday) was to find an alternative way out of the process. Our Criminal Procedure Code establishes possibilities so that people who are involved in a criminal process do not necessarily have to undergo an entire judicial process, but the law allows a series of alternative outputs to the final sentence.
“On some occasions, lawyers recommend that clients undergo certain alternative exits and avoid all the torturous that a judicial process can be (…),” explained the lawyer.
Córdoba added: “She leaves tomorrow (Saturday from the country). As her test was questioned, independently and apart from the process, the idea was to have another test to see what was happening, he did it and hopes to comply with his commitments outside the country”.
However, neither he nor his client gave details to the alleged false test that led to the arrest, nor of the details of the plea agreement.
However, when he was told about the possibility of making a donation to some social welfare institution, which is the agreement reached by the majority of people who try to leave the country by presenting a false coronavirus test, he specified:
“Yes, that is the policy that the Public Ministry in Alajuela is managing for these cases, since many people have been deceived with this evidence. That is why the policy that the Public Ministry has had is to give the possibility that people can make a donation to a charity that the courts of Alajuela have previously established ”.
Q: Is that what Natalia is going to do, is that the agreement she reached?
A: “Yes,” replied the lawyer. “What happened to her is a matter of determining. We did not make any statements on that in particular. It is an aspect that I cannot refer to,” he concluded.