Saturday, December 2, 2023

Huatulco airport refutes traveler’s claim that he had to pay a bribe

A story published by a Canadian radio station — and picked up by Mexico News Daily — about a traveler who had to pay a bribe at the Huatulco airport has been refuted by airport officials.

The airport released a statement after the story appeared on the CJFC Today website, based in Kamloops, British Columbia, to deny details of the story.

Traveler Dennis Karpiak, a retired Kamloops physician, had told a reporter in a videotaped interview that he was pulled from a lineup at the airport last week and then held for several hours in an office until he paid several hundred dollars in bribes to obtain the release of himself and three others.

He claimed that the men who detained the passengers shouted at them in Spanish, scaring Karpiak into thinking he would “end up in a Mexican prison or dead.”

The airport’s statement said Karpiak had either lost or forgotten his visitor permit so he was taken by an immigration agent to an office of the National Immigration Institute within the airport to complete the documentation required before he could leave the country.

But Karpiak, the airport official said, became upset after waiting for 15 minutes outside the immigration office. Inside, agents were busy dealing with “a delicate situation” of a newly-arrived passenger who had no documentation.

When Karpiak pulled money from his pocket to resolve the matter, “desperate” over the wait, an agent decided to simply provide him with an exit permit — which has no cost — and forgo the visitor permit.

The airport said an airline official and an immigration agent accompanied Karpiak for the entire time while they resolved the issue of the missing documentation.

“The passenger was never in danger nor was he held inside any airport office,” the statement said, observing that the events were reconstructed by reviewing surveillance camera footage.

CJFC pulled the story without explanation on the weekend so Mexico News Daily did the same, there being no other source for the story. The radio station did not respond to an invitation to comment.

Mexico News Daily

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