Costa Rica Seizes 2.5 Tons of Cocaine

Costa Rica Seizes 2.5 Tons of Cocaine

By Gustavo Arias Retana/Diálogo
March 18, 2021

Costa Rican authorities carried out two drug seizures in early February, preventing 2.5 tons of cocaine from departing the country hidden in containers among export products.

On February 18, the Costa Rican Drug Control Police (PCD, in Spanish) found 513 kilograms of cocaine hidden among packages of fried food in a container bound for Barcelona, Spain. The seizure took place at the APM Terminals in the Port of Moín, Limón province.

Costa Rican authorities found 513 kg of cocaine in several briefcases, hidden among packages of fried food, on February 18, 2021. (Photo: Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security)

“These packages were hidden inside the product that was bound for Europe, both bananas and yucca. It’s important to point out that this is the third drug seizure that PCD agents have carried out [during 2021] at APM Terminals,” Costa Rican Deputy Minister of Public Security Luis Carlos Castillo told the media.

On February 3, authorities made another seizure. In this case, they found 2,000 packages of cocaine, weighing 1 kg each, which criminals attempted to ship out of the country among a pineapple cargo, the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security indicated. The drug was bound for Belgium, and the operation took place in Limón’s APM Terminals, the ministry added.

“We saw something suspicious with the scanners [and] proceeded to inspect the container, thus locating this illicit product that was bound for Europe,” Costa Rican Minister of Public Security Michael Soto said. “This is work that we have been carrying out. Last year was tremendously successful, and this year we hope to have similar or better results.”

Authorities also carried out a similar seizure in January, seizing 110 kg of cocaine, which were hidden in a container that transported pineapple juice and was bound for Spain. So far this year, the police has detected 2,623 kg of cocaine in containers.

During 2020, security authorities seized more than 16 tons of cocaine intended for transshipment in 18 containers, and in 2019, 6 tons of cocaine were seized in 10 containers.