A U.S. private investigator is under arrest in Costa Rica on immigration charges and could be deported from the Central American nation.
Douglas Smith, the proprietor of “WillSpy Private Investigation and Security Services,” has apparently been living in Escazú, Costa Rica, since early 2005 and local media reports indicate that he has at least one fraud claim leveled against him for his private investigation business.
Allen Ulloa, an Immigration Administration spokesman, told The Tico Times, an English-language newspaper in Costa Rica, that immigration officials arrested Smith after he failed to renew his 90-day tourist visa, an offense punishable by automatic deportation.
He was arrested after a former client accused him of fraud, and authorities in Costa Rica are trying to raise money to send him back to the U.S.
But a woman who claims to be his wife alleges he was “set-up” by a man he was probing for insurance fraud.
The woman told a local English-language news website that the private investigator was working on behalf of a U.S. insurance company to look into a man suspected of disability fraud. The woman said the man under investigation ordered to have their home burglarized and Smith’s identification and immigration papers stolen.
The woman – who the website did not name – said that Smith was allegedly lured into a trap with immigration officials.
“[Smith] cannot be thrown out of the country because he is married [to a Costa Rican],” the woman told Inside Costa Rica.
An investigation by the Costa Rican newspaper El Diario Extra claims that Smith’s assertions that he was married in Costa Rica are false.
The previous fraud charges leveled against Smith relate to a client who was purportedly charged between $325 and $400 a day for work that was never completed by the private investigator.
Smith is well-known to the English-language media in Costa Rica and has apparently made multiple attempts to promote his case.
Smith’s company website has been replaced with a blank page and an email address.