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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Costa Rica dismantles international drug trafficking ring

Costa Rican authorities dismantled an international cocaine trafficking ring that used fishing boats on the country’s southern Pacific coast. The successful operation was supported by the governments of Colombia, Ecuador and the United States, according to government information released on Wednesday.

Agents from the Prosecutor’s Office and Drug Control Police captured 22 people who participated in the drug trafficking network, including a police agent and four officials from the National Coast Guard Service who had been passing on information to the criminal network about anti-drug operatives.

“The group received the drugs on the high seas; they’d keep it on farms and then they’d give it to the owners of the drugs, who’d take it to North America,” Chief Prosecutor Emilia Navas explained in a video distributed by the Prosecutor’s Office.

As payment, the group received part of the drugs that came from South America, which they then sold in Costa Rica, Navas added.

In a series of raids carried out this Wednesday, seven vehicles, one small plane, 13 weapons, ammunition, cash, communications equipment, jewelry and a small quantity of drugs were confiscated, according to the Public Security Ministry.

Operatives against the group began in 2016 and have resulted in the confiscation of ore than eight tons of cocaine, said Public Security Minister Michael Soto.

That ministry indicated in a news release that the group used high-speed fishing boats to pick up the drugs at sea.

The leaders of the band were two former Coast Guard officials whose last names Campos Loría and Carvajal Duarte. They ran the operation in contact with drug trafficking cartels from Colombia and Ecuador, the minister said.


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