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Costa Rican Coast Guard detains another speed boat with cocaine

March 18, 2013

The Costa Rican Coast Guard on Monday nabbed an Ecuadorian speedboat with an undetermined amount of cocaine on board.

The boat, about 10 meters long, was detained near the coastal area of Punta Burica, in the Southern Pacific border with Panama, and officers arrested four members of the crew – two Costa Ricans and two Ecuadorians.

Drug Control Police found the drugs concealed in a double lining of the boat, and officers are measuring packages to determine the total amount of drugs seized.

Costa Rica’s anti-drug commissioner, Mauricio Boraschi, said that the method traffickers used is becoming increasingly common. “They [drug traffickers] use small speedboats aboard larger boats, usually fishing boats, and at a certain point on the route, they transfer small amounts [of cocaine] into the smaller boats.”

Boraschi said that intelligence for the  operation was conducted in conjunction with U.S. Coast Guard officials. Officials said the seized boat carried enough fuel to reach any country in Central America.

Coast Guard boats from Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Colombia are currently patrolling the Punta Burica area, in search of the main fishing vessels that are transporting drugs, Boraschi said.

Last Tuesday, drug traffickers abandoned a boat with 1.5 tons of cocaine after being pursued by a Costa Rican Coast Guard patrol at the Caribbean beach of Manzanillo.

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