Drivers on the mainland, beware. Between Puerto Morales and Playa, close to the new construction, Playa police are saving up for Christmas. This is how it goes - you are cruising along with the traffic and a police man, on foot, jumps out, waving at you. Since I was near the construction, I thought he was telling me to merge right to get ready for the detour, which I had used in the morning. About 2 minutes later, a cruise car will motion you over to the side. You are presented with a hand-held radar gun, which shows that you were going 9 km over the speed limit. There is no date or time on the radar gun. He confiscates my driver's license.
The officer will then tell you that you are getting 3 tickets - one for speeding, one for leaving the scene and one for disobeying an officer. You must appear in court immediately (I was headed for the last truck ferry of the day). I expain, so the officer says that I have to be in court the next morning in Playa. He then tells me how much the fines will be - and it is quite a lot. While all this is going on, I notice his partner is standing behind him, next to my car. Neither officer has a name tag, badge or any other identifying marks. The officer is writing out the tickets and I notice that there are NO NUMBERS on the tickets.
So I smile sweetly and ask if I could pay now to avoid the impending inconvenience. A discussion follows with the other guy. Yes, I can pay now and it will only be . . . . So I pay a much smaller amount than the tickets said (but still a sizeable amount of money for me); he returns my license and I leave. I drive very slowly as he follows; he then decides to do a U-turn, I pull over quickly so I can see his car number and there is NONE! Now he is too far away for me to read his license. So, it was a bummer end to a nice day, but hopefully, this will save some of you grief!
An "old" New Scam in Playa
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