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Sunday 04 January 2009, San José, Costa Rica 

Interpol Offers Help To Discredited Intelligence Service
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Interpol Offers Help To Discredited Intelligence Service
The discredited Costa Rican intelligence police service, the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad (DIS), will get a visit from the secretary general of the International Police (Interpol), Ronald Noble, who will be meeting with authorities of the Ministerio de Seguridad and government officials.

Noble is expected to meet with Seguridad minister, Janina del Vecchio, and the ministro de la Presidencia, Rodrigo Arias, who will be discussing drug trafficking, organized crime and international fugitives hiding out in Costa Rica, as the main topics.

Noble is also expected to meet with the current director of the DIS, José Torres.

The DIS, a police force that comes under the arm of the ministerio de la Presidencia, also known as the "political police" force of the country, is attached to the Interpol office in San José.

The visit by Noble to advise the DIS as part of the government's plan to reform the DIS. Last month the government also asked the help of the governments of Chile and Colombia to assist it, weeks after it uncover corruption within the police organization, which went as high as the sub-director and forcing the resignation of the director.

In addition, the DIS has been accused by union groups and political parties of spying on their activities, infiltrating organizations and the illegal gathering of information and taping telephone conversations, all actions that require the authorization of a judge.

The scandal that rocked the DIS was the alleged bank fraud involving former DIS sub-director, Roberto Guillén.

Guillén was removed from his position on November 25 following a series of raids on DIS offices and the completion of a judicial investigation.

Opponents to the DIS, that include the current Fiscal General, Francisco Dall'Anesse, believe that the that the DIS should work as a police agency and be under the control and regulations of a police unit that must account for its actions. "The country does not need an espionage body", said Dall'Anesse.

In addition to Guillén, a number of other individuals who do not work for the government, were also apprehended and believed to be form part of the group that used information from the DIS to falsify cheques and other bank documents to defraud the banks and their customers.

The investigation revealed that Guillén was the key to accessing private information from the DIS and Casa Presidencial computers, from a private database, that was used in a fraud totalling at us$357.000 dollars.




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