September 18th, 2012 – The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) is looking for a way to fire the 13 transit cops that were arrested yesterday morning in the Limonal, Canas and Nicoya delegations. The transitos, as they are known locally, were arrested for soliciting bribes from both Costa Rican and foreign drivers, who were looking to avoid a ticket with a payment of over $80.
According to the investigation, in the past three months the officers have charged between $100 and up to $1,500 to various drivers traveling on the inter-American highway.
“The administration will make every effort to fire any transit police officer involved in illegal activity, using the argument of loss of confidence, as they have been hired as authorities that work for the Republic to correct the conduct of third parties. Any illegal behavior is completely unacceptable, “ said Rodrigo Rivera, Minister of MOPT.
The minister’s statement comes after similar arrests when eight other officers were arrested in the Zurqui department. According to Diego Herrera, Transit Police director, these officers continue to work with MOPT.
“The recommendation was that (those) men should not work on public streets, in which they could interact with drivers, but rather be transferred to the lots where confiscated cars are kept or to administrative duties, “said Herrera.
Apparently, soliciting bribes is not reasonable grounds for firing transit police and the administration must make its case for firing the 13 arrested officers on the grounds of ‘loss of confidence’ if it wishes to terminate their employment instead of simply reassigning them.
Yesterday’s arrests bring to a total of 28 officers arrested so far this year.