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Costa Rican authorities arrest 10 suspected of drug trafficking, announce Colombian partnership

February 12, 2019

Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) and the Public Security Ministry (MSP) detained 10 people with suspected ties to international drug trafficking, according to press releases from the respective organizations.

The OIJ said an investigation that began in July 2017 led Tuesday to the arrests of six men in Golfito and Heredia, whom they suspect of being involved in international drug trafficking. In addition, they detained a criminal court employee in Golfito who had allegedly leaked information to criminal organizations.

OIJ said the suspects were involved in a drug-smuggling operation that transported cocaine from Colombia into Costa Rica through beaches near the port town of Golfito, Puntarenas.

Since its investigation began 19 months ago, OIJ says its raids have confiscated more than 2,700 kilos of cocaine from the organization.

On Monday, the MSP captured three people suspected of operating an illegal flight through Costa Rican airspace. The three suspects, who are of Mexican nationality, were flying a Cessna 210 single-engine plane with a false registration near Colorado, Pococí, Limón.

The plane carried a small amount of cocaine, three guns, three GPS devices and a night-vision system, MSP said. The three suspects did not have official documentation.

Michael Soto Rojas, the Minister of Public Security, said the effort — which involved MSP, National Police and the country’s Air Surveillance Service — demonstrated the importance of cooperation between Costa Rica’s police forces.

MSP also announced Tuesday a diplomatic cooperation with Colombia in which officials from the South American country’s National Police will work with Costa Rican authorities over the next 10 months to bolster preventative security measures.

The move is part of international collaboration efforts supported by the United States’ Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

“Uniting efforts is essential to protect the country in the fight against common crime and organized crime and, most importantly, to promote preventive actions to prevent crimes from being committed to the detriment of our citizens,” said Luis Carlos Castillo Fernandez, the Deputy Minister of Public Security.


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