Fraudulent property sales continues to be a problem, according to legal authorities, and the government is attempting to develop controls to combat the practice.
In some instances, the owners of the property have no idea that the sale has taken place until the new owners arrive to take possession.
There were nine such cases filed in August in the First Judicial Circuit. All of those involved cases where the original owners reported that their properties were transferred illegally in the Public Registry with the consent of public notaries.
Judicial officials said that most of the current backlog of cases, there are more than 500 pending investigations into fraudulent land sales, date from previous administrations.
Often, the fraud is perpetrated by third parties, who advertise a parcel for sale, then present false identification to a notary to have the land transferred to the new owner.
The government claims that stricter controls have been enacted to prevent fraudulent land sales from taking place. Some notaries have also adopted the practice of requiring digital verification of identification, but they are in the minority.