Although past sweeps at places like the Del Rey Hotel focused on the girls, the police are now turning an eye toward the foreign gentlemen who frequent these venues. In particular, they are checking passports and looking for expats who overstayed their tourist visas.
Immigration added another 150 officers to the payroll in March, and they are now working in a joint task force with Fuerza Publica, Municpal Police, and Judicial Investigative Police. This is also the same unit that hauled an American to immigration offices when he could only produce a photocopy of his passport. When the original passport was finally produced, officials confiscated it when they could not find a matching record of his entry into Costa Rica.
While the practice of just carrying a photocopy of the passport has been widely recommended as a safeguard against getting your passport stolen it’s now worthwhile to consider carrying the real thing while touring San Jose.