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Cops arrested in Costa Rica cocaine theft

June 12, 2009

Costa Rica authorities have detained eight people, including three National Police officers, suspected of involvement in the theft of 320 kilograms of cocaine from the Prosecutor´s Office in the Southern Zone town of Golfito last M arch.

Judicial Investigation Police Director Jorge Rojas has confirmed the arrests of eight Costa Rican nationals, which took place Saturday, along with the seizure of $306,000, €18,500 ($25,865) and ¢2.6 million ($4,500) in cash as well as four vehicles.

The arrests took place in Ciudad Ne i ly, a town located approximately midway between Golfito and the Panamanian border.

The authorities believe the $306,000 could have been used as a pay-off to the police for the confiscated cocaine, which was s ei zed from a boat off Playa Sirena, near Corcovado National Park on the Southern Zone´s Osa Peninsula, during a police sting earlier in March in which two Ecuadoreans were arrested.

On March 26, for the first time in Costa Rica´s history, a group of armed assailants raided the government office and stole the drugs.

Costa Rican officials expressed dismay following the arrest of National Police.

“These gentlemen are not police, they are infiltrating criminals,” Oldemar Madrigal, security vice minister, told the daily La Nación.

 Click here for Tico Times reporting on drug trafficking in Costa Rica.

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