QCOSTARICA – A wife suspects her husband is cheating. In the GPS tracking device she recently gave him as a gift lies the proof, a recording taken with a hidden microphone. After he gets home, she can confirm the betrayal.
An employer discovers that an employee is stealing company information and selling it to the competition. With a hidden camera the employer is able to discover the person responsible.
These are just two cases of in which Costa Ricans are seduced by items of espionage now available in the country. In the past, these items could only be purchased online from websites abroad.
Unlike in some countries, the market is not very large in the county. Also companies do little advertising to maintain customer discretion.
although there may be more, two companies offer “spy toys” from as little as a few to hundreds of dollars. Items are imported from countries such as the United States, Israel, Spain, France and Russia, among others, that can be purchased locally.
One is B&B Detectives. La Nacion spoke to Karla Jinesta, a private investigator, who explains that 90% of their work is by a wife or husband suspicious of their partner’s infidelity. The rest of the work is locating people, for example, owing child support.
At Tico Espia, an online virtual spy shop, they say that 80% of the purchases are based on suspicion of infidelities. La Nacion report says the representative at the company asked not to have their name published.
Besides “toys”, Tico Espia also sells software that turns a cellular phone into a spying device. “With this (the software) parents can prevent their children from getting into the wrong crowd,” says the Tico Espia contact.
Among the devices Tico Espia sells are GPS and lighters that record voice, sunglasses and shirt buttons that record video, key chains, car alarms, hats and even crucifixes that can spy on anyone, at anytime, in anyplace.
Francisco Segura, director of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), explained that when recordings show that the person is a victim of a crime, it can be used in the filing of the complaint.
“Everything depends on usage…,” he said, explaining that the hidden video cameras can be used in the home or in the street, for example, in cases of threats, extortion or coercion.
Criminal lawyer Alexánder Rodríguez gave a similar explanation, saying “the recording can be validly used as evidence to support a complaint, provided the right of privacy is not violated.”
However, Rodriguez cautioned the use of spy recording equipment, as the improper use such as listening in on private conversations can be a criminal offence.
Source: La Nacion