US private investigator in Costa Rica jailed on immigration charges

November 18th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) A man who operates a private investigation agency in Costa Rica was jailed on immigration charges over the weekend.

 

Douglas Smith, the proprietor of “WillSpy Private Investigation and Security Services” was the man arrested, and is currently being held in an immigration detention facility.  Smith was arrested near Jaco by agents of the Immigration Police.

 

According to local daily, Diaro Extra, Smith was living illegally in the country, and at least one client had filed fraud charges against Smith related to his private investigation business.  Local television station, TeleTica-7, reported that Smith had been living illegally in the country since shortly after his arrival in 2005.

 

The Diaro Extra report states that immigration authorities have begun proceedings to deport Smith to the United States.

 

Inside Costa Rica was able to contact a woman by telephone who claims she is Smith’s wife, after calling the telephone number listed on the WillSpy web site.

 

The woman described Smith’s arrest as a “set up.”

 

According to the woman, Smith was working on behalf of a U.S. insurance company that was investigating a man for alleged disability fraud.  The woman stated that the target of the investigation arranged to have the couple’s home burglarized, and that Smith’s identity and immigration documents were stolen in the process.

 

The woman further alleges that the man Smith was allegedly investigating posed as a potential client, and lured Smith to a meeting.  According to the woman, what Smith found instead was waiting immigration agents and several local television news crews, in addition to Diaro Extra reporters.

 

“[Smith] cannot be thrown out of the country because he is married [to a Costa Rican],” the woman told Inside Costa RicaDiaro Extra’s report says that Smith’s claims of being married in Costa Rica are false.

 

The woman who identified herself as Smith’s wife indicated that she would provide documentation to Inside Costa Rica to substantiate the couple’s story in the coming days.

 

The woman also said the couple plans to file defamation lawsuits against Diaro Extra, Teletica, and other news outlets.

 

According to reports and Smith’s YouTube videos, Smith resided in the San José suburb of Escazu.

 

Inside Costa Rica has had contact with Smith in the past.  Within the past year, Smith had contacted ICR editors regarding investigations Smith claimed to be working on.  After some investigation into Smith’s claims at the time, ICR editors were unable to substantiate facts regarding the alleged cases, and elected to cease communication with Smith.

 

In a telephone conversation earlier in the year, Smith told ICR editors that he had previously worked in Colombia, and that his wife at the time was murdered there.

 

Pressed for details, however – specifically the year in which his wife was murdered, Smith claimed he could not recall.

 

Several inconsistences in Smith’s claims raised suspicions with ICR editors at the time, and ICR concluded Smith was not a reliable journalistic source.

 

Earlier this year, Inside Costa Rica also received email and telephone correspondence from a woman in the United States who claimed that Smith harassed and threatened her after she elected to discontinue his services.

 

Inside Costa Rica was unable to verify the woman’s claims.

 

While Inside Costa Rica elected to not work with Smith as a source, some small English-language “blogs” in the country would routinely source information or publish articles from Smith.  One such site, The Costa Rican Times, issued a public apology over the weekend.

 

The web site of Will Spy has since been replaced with a blank page and an email address.  However, before the web site was removed, Smith claimed to offer a number of services, primarily to foreigners and their counterparts in the country.

 

Amongst the services listed on WillSpy’s web site were “Check-a-Mate” background reviews, process service, and “Guided Poker and Texas Hold ‘Em Services.”

 

Smith also promoted what his web site called services for “Gentlemen Players,” including what his web site called a “Chasing-the-Chicas” package.

 

Each gentleman’s taste is different and we leave the actual chasing of chicas to you. But we know where to take you to meet the crème-de-la-crème of beautiful ladies in Costa Rica. You worry about courting the ladies and having all the fun you can imagine….we’ll watch your back and make sure no one is able to walk up behind you, both literally and metaphorically. Make no mistake, ladies here are heart-stopping, drop-dead gorgeous and the finer ones speak excellent English, but they are all out to scam gringos….we clue you in on what to do (and what not to do) to avoid the scams,” the website read before going offline.

 

Meanwhile, Smith also promoted his services to the significant others of the so-called “Gentlemen Players.”

 

So he says he’s going fishing, and trekking in Costa Rica…? Has he promised to bring you back a picture of the fish he catches?

 

Ladies, ladies, ladies. There are multiple places here in Costa Rica where a man can have his picture taken standing beside a beautiful, 8 foot, hanging Blue Marlin, with a Rod/Reel in hand, with him smiling brightly as if he spent the day (and his money) fishing…don’t believe it. Even if that may have been his intent, the temptation is very strong in Costa Rica.

 

If you have a husband or boyfriend coming to Costa Rica, it would be in your best interest to engage us to keep an eye on him,” read the “Ladies Only” section of the WillSpy web site.

 

While private investigation services do not require licensing in Costa Rica, security companies do require license.

 

WillSpy also offered “personal security” and other security services, by what Smith described as “former FBI and CIA” personnel in a YouTube video.  It is not clear if Smith possessed the required permits for such services, but an unofficial source told Inside Costa Rica that Smith did not possess the proper permits to offer security services.

 

Members of our team have experience working directly with, and in concert to the following agencies: DEA, FBI, CIA, DHS; as well as direct association with US Department of State, US Department of Defense, US Embassies and and various state and local agencies. 

 

There is no higher qualified group of security experts, bodyguards and private investigators in Costa Rica,” the web site read before being taken offline.

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    • http://alligatorsnroadkill.blogspot.com/ John Dungan

      All I know is that he tried to use scare tactics in an effort to sell his services (much of which were laughable) on the gringo community around Lake Arenal about three years ago, until we spoke out. This might get interesting.

      • Billy Bean

        He tried the same scare tactics with everyone. I know of several businesses that he tried to sell his “services” to but when they turned him down saying that it was not needed, he went on the attack and claimed the businesses were operating illegally, hiring illegally, promoting porn, allowing staff to steal or something along those lines, he was relentless.

    • NorthendFool

      He is just one of the many gringos who are worthless and living here. They own nothing, they never invest. All they do is run a game on expats. Puerto Viejo is full of them.

    • disgusted

      Unfortunately, I had many phone calls and emails from him. Something was not right I asked to meet with him he was first robbed, Then his wife had a problem and so on so we never met.Kept saying he needed money to feed his child. I then cut off all communication .Check Craig’s list under rants and raves.. This last year he and another gringo were going at it daily. Good Bye and I hope his wife if true can move on. He told he he was a Ranger now a Seal? Then he was in ‘Nam we were out of there 1975 and his age did not add up. Web of lies.

      • disgusted

        Come to think about it, online paper amcostarica did a big article on a pedophile Kurt Owens being deported and congratulated this Doug Smith as being instrumental in all that. You would think someone then so agency would have figured it out then 6 months ago..Hummm!

    • expatin paradise

      This guy sounds like a scumbag scammer, the type of expat that CR (and its expat community) doesn’t need. If your documents are lost, you get new ones. If you have a cedula, you know the number. If you do business with a bank, you provide a cedula or passport number. Anyone who claims CIA connections probably doesn’t have any. If he doesn’t have residency and is here legally, he should have entered the country in the last three months, and there are computer records of such crossings. If he is married (unless it is a “free union”), he should have documents. This sounds like pure BS. Don’t hold your breath for his so-called wife to produce any proof.

    • expatin paradise

      I don’t know how old this guy says he is, but he looks 60 or older (don’t be fooled by the hair dye), so the Viet Nam story may be the only thing in his stories that is true.

    • Billy Bean

      Unless he, 1) fought in a different Vietnam War, 2) lied about his age or 3) was the youngest to ever serve, he could not have possible fought in Vietnam as his birth year is listed as 1958. No need for me to do the math is there?

    • Billy Bean

      Also, a quick search of the TSE database, that is open for any individual to use, proves that he and the woman claiming to be his wife are not legally married. “Union Libre” maybe? But, you still need to go through paperwork to get that recognized and I do not think immigration would accept a document that was dated this week, maybe I am wrong? Also, would that really qualify him for residency? We shall soon see.

    • Billy Bean

      I really like how the “wife” tries to defend him being in the country illegally by blaming another individual for setting him up. He would be the first person to jump up and down claiming a person had overstayed their visa and should be deported, if it suited his cause. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    • Andrew

      Sadly, there are far more “Doug Smiths” here than there are normal honest Americans. You can deport this loser, but, like raking leaves, another will arrive with the next gust of wind. There is as much “poor white trash”‘ living in this little isthmus as there is in the entire state of Mississippi. Personally, I would have taken one look at his teeth, and decided not to do business with the guy. Wanna test for “poor white trash”? Check the teeth.

    • Andrew

      Now if the OIJ could find and deport this Agnos “white trash”, we would have two down and several thousand to go. I wish these freakin’ losers would find another place to practice their fraud and deception. Is it any wonder why our hosts dislike us so much? All we seem to send Costa Rica from the States is our own form of Marielitos. Has Costa Rica warned the US that they are sending this fraud north? I hope so!

      • James F. Agnos

        I think you are pure trash. Black or white. You don’t know me, or the vicious attacks I was under by this Maggot “Doug Smith”. Have a shitty Christmas and a rotten new year.

        • Andrew

          Pretty sure you got me beat in the white trash department Spiro….
          Thanks for the christmas wishes. Enjoy yourself…alone.
          A little behind in your reading, I see.
          I think you need to get out more, old fella….
          Cheers F-ing loser!

          • James F. Agnos

            You’re just another ignorant scumbag attacking people you don’t know.
            Like “Doug Smith”, all scumbags get what they deserve in the end.
            You will too.
            I notice you are anonymous.
            Of course you are.

            • Andrew

              As much as I’d like to have a battle of wits with you, sadly, you are unarmed.
              Spiro, please crawl back into your hole and leave me alone. I have no time for white trash. Go away you f-ing moron.
              Thanks ol’ fella.

            • James F. Agnos

              I imagine you’re not using your real name because you too would be sitting in the same cell as “Doug Smith” awaiting deportation. Costa Rica should give me a medal for breaking the balls and pulling the teeth of this maggot.
              Who’s next?

    • http://www.csi-8.com/ Costa Rica Fraud Investigator

      As a professional Fraud Examiner it is unfortunate that this individual abused a position of trust. Many of the comments here seem to contain an anti-American slant. That is not exactly a fair or wise position to take, especially in a culture where crimes are unenforced and corruption seeps into the highest levels of government. Expats from all over the world have brought their fortunes to Costa Rica and provided jobs, opportunities, and an industrial revolution that would never had been possible without their commitment to Costa Rica.

      Perhaps we can all agree that Doug Smith doesn’t belong here in Costa Rica, and that a sigh of relief is shared by the masses that he will never be returning here again.

      PURA VIDA!

    • Mitch Robertson

      Impersonation of being or been a federal agent for profit is a crime, he may have to answer for some of his activities here before he is set free once he arrives in the US. The fact that he offered services to clients in the US subjects him to federal prosecution in the United States. I bet they have a black SUV waiting for him.

    • Jack Elder

      This looks like another Dan Woodall/Daniel Caro/Don Carlos/et al story, masked to look like legitimate news. It reads like slander from someone with an agenda. Doug Smith is surely a crackpot, but this article was written by the guy who made the call to immigration.

      • http://insidecostarica.com/ Timothy Williams

        I wrote this article I can assure you I have absolutely no agenda for or against Mr. Smith. I have never personally, nor has this paper, had a conflict with Smith, and I can assure you that I most certainly did not call immigration on the man, nor had any idea regarding his status in the country or his business for that matter.

        We report the news. The local media outlets are cited on their own reports. The brief contact we had with Smith via telephone and some emails was cordial, we simply made a decision that we didn’t trust his information as a source.

        We contacted Mr. Smith’s spouse for their side of the story, and published her statement in the article as well.

        There is nothing slanderous or inaccurate in the story, and I stand by it as written. Allegations made by other media outlets, for instance Diaro Extra, are attributed to those outlets.