Arthur Budovsky, an Ukrainian condemned in the United States by a gigantic money-laundering network based in Costa Rica, obtained his nationality after marrying a woman of limited resources in exchange for an apparent payment .
That, classified by the Civil Registry as a fictitious marriage, was later annulled due to Budovsky’s detention in Spain in 2013. The case reaffirmed the weak law that allows any foreigner to obtain the nationality with relative simplicity.
From 2012 to date, the Civil Registry has filed more than 1,000 suspicious marriages for their respective analysis to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR). From there, the cases goes to the Family Court where, if there are enough elements, they are annulled.
Due to this problem, the institution created an unit exclusively dedicated to investigate the consummation of fictitious, arranged or non-existent marriages.
We are defining procedures in order to deal with these kind of cases,
said Luis Guillermo Chinchilla, director of the Civil Registry.
How are marriages annulled? Once there is sufficient evidence before a suspected marriage, a statement is made to the affected Costa Rican person and then a file is sent to the PGR. This unit sends the requests to the family courts.
The objective of having a specialized unit is to anticipate the naturalization requests of foreigners.