Public Security Ministry officers arrested on Saturday a Costa Rican man with the last names Ortega Villegas, who was transporting 14 undocumented Nicaraguans inside a truck.
The arrest occurred in the Guanacaste canton of Tilarán, some 88 miles from the border with Nicaragua, where police found 13 men and one woman, all adults, hidden inside a truck used for cattle transportation.
National Police Director Juan José Andrade said this is the tenth human smuggling arrest this year. The smugglers have tried to bring in illegally a total of 56 people into the country.
“This tenth arrest is a clear message to those who for years have devoted themselves to illegally entering people into Costa Rica. We will continue taking action to prevent this practice from keep growing in our country,” Andrade said.
Police in Tilarán took Ortega into custody and the 14 people will be taken back to the Nicaragua border this week.
Arrests related to human smuggling and trafficking in 2014 have already exceeded those made last year when National Police managed to apprehend six smugglers transporting 22 people without immigration documents, Andrade said.
Last month Judicial Investigation Police agents used 24 simultaneous raids in Guanacaste to take down an international human smuggling ring that operated in both Nicaragua and Costa Rica.