Authorities in Costa Rica detained five citizens suspected of human trafficking in the south of the country, the Ministry of Public Security (MSP) reported Sunday.
With them were 15 migrants of Asian origin, MSP added.
The five locals were detained Saturday afternoon in the southern town of Corredores, near the border with Panama, in a house where they had 12 people from Bangladesh and three from India, the ministry said in a statement.
In the press release, authorities detailed that an anonymous call made it possible to locate the group of alleged human traffickers along with several vehicles and $1,200, which the police suspect correspond to payment for the transfer of the migrants through Costa Rican territory.
“Among those rescued was a 12-year-old girl from India. All others are between the ages of 20-40. None required medical attention,” the statement said.
The foreigners were placed under the command of Immigration Police and the minor was handed over to the National Children’s Board, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, the detainees were left to the order of the Public Ministry (prosecutor’s office), which could prosecute them for the crime of illicit trafficking in persons.
Central America is a transit route for Africans, Asians and Latin Americans who are trying to reach the United States and Canada by land.