Costa Rican authorities seized two tons of cocaine from a boat captured in the Caribbean, in an operation supported by forces from Colombia and the United States, the Public Security Ministry reported Monday.
Four Colombians who identified themselves with the surnames Otero Muñoz, Medina Ramos, Pérez Manjarrés and Chaverra Valdez were detained on the ship, according to a statement from the Costa Rican authorities.
Security Minister Michael Soto said the operation began on Saturday, when Costa Rican authorities received an alert from the Colombian Navy about the presence of a drug launch in the Caribbean.
With the information, the Costa Rican Coast Guard dispatched interception boats supported by aircraft from the United States Air and Surveillance Service, and the vessel with the drug load was located.
“The crew of the boat, upon noticing the police presence, began to throw the load into the water and fled,” seeking Panamanian waters, according to the statement.
The drug shipment was found floating off the coasts of the Costa Rican towns of Cahuita and Manzanillo. After firing “several warning shots,” the Costa Rican Coast Guard boarded the vessel 15 nautical miles from Westfalia, a village near Limón.
Soto said that Costa Rica has seized 26.3 tons of cocaine so far this year.