QCOSTARICA – Luis Juarez, the manager of the Paso Canoas customs (aduanas in Spanish) post was arrested on Wednesday, charged with the “willful act or omission” of a public official, punishable with a three to ten year prison sentence.
The arrest followed an investigation by the Fiscalía Adjunta de Delitos Económicos y Tributarios (Assistant Prosecutor for Economic Crimes and Taxes), carried out between April 15 and 17 of this year, at the border with Panama customs post.
Authorities say the accused was involved in the theft of a seized cargo load of cigarettes being smuggled into the country. Investigators found that Juarez ordered and without reason, the seized van be moved to an inconspicuous location within the customs grounds, facilitating the theft of the seized merchandise.
The van and merchandise had been seized days earlier by the Policía de Control Fiscal (tax police).
The deputy minister of revenue (viceministro de Ingresos), Fernando Rordriguez, confirmed the arrest and investigation coordinated in conjunction with the Policia Fiscal, of the Dirección de Aduanas del Ministerio de Hacienda (Customs Directorate of the Ministry of Finance).