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Costa Rica Seizes More Than 4 Tons of Cocaine in 3 Operations

Costa Rica Seizes More Than 4 Tons of Cocaine in 3 Operations

By Gustavo Arias Retana/Diálogo
September 09, 2020

Close collaboration between Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, and the United States in July 2020 led to the seizure of more than 4 tons of cocaine in three operations.

On July 25, the Costa Rican Judicial Investigation Department reported the interdiction of two vehicles carrying 855 kilograms of cocaine in Puntarenas province, on the Pacific coast. Authorities detained seven people during the operation.

Units of the Costa Rican Coast Guard recover cocaine packages that narcotraffickers jettisoned at sea before being arrested on July 18. (Photo: Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security)

On July 19, the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security reported that the Costa Rican Coast Guard had received an alert from the Colombian Navy, and with the support of U.S. aircraft detected a suspicious vessel in the Caribbean Sea. When the criminals noticed the presence of the security forces, they jettisoned the cargo and fled, attempting to reach the Panamanian border. Authorities arrested the four crew members and seized 2,093 kg of cocaine, the Ministry said.

“It is worth highlighting the cooperation with the United States and its reconnaissance aircraft, the ongoing Colombian intelligence, and also the excellent relationship we have with Panama,” Martín Arias, director of the Costa Rican Coast Guard, told the press.

Costa Rican Minister of Public Security Michael Soto told the press that they had received an alert from Colombian authorities on July 18, warning about a speedboat carrying drugs in the Caribbean Sea, bound for Costa Rica. Two Costa Rican Coast Guard intercepting speedboats, with U.S. air support, chased the suspicious vessel in open waters. Coast Guard units intercepted the speedboat carrying 1,274 kg of cocaine and four people on board, the Ministry reported.

“Narcotrafficking works regionally, from the time [the drug] is shipped until it arrives for consumption. They will always have collaborators, very well-financed rings for their operations. Countries are like that too. We have naval, air, land forces […] for Costa Rica, a Public Force, border police, coastguards, narcotics officers,” Arias added.

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