Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Security announced a major drug bust on Monday, confirming the seizure of 462 kilograms of cocaine at the Moín port in Limón over the weekend.
The narcotics were uncovered on Sunday hidden among cargo containers carrying licit fresh fruit bound for Setúbal, Portugal from the state-run JAPDEVA dock.
Eagle-eyed Drug Control Police (PCD) officers detected suspicious packages while conducting routine container inspections. The Public Prosecutor’s Office was promptly notified, ordering the PCD to take control of the situation.
Further investigation revealed the packages contained a staggering 462 kilos of cocaine, confirming the officers’ initial suspicions. The drugs were immediately confiscated before they could reach European shores.
The massive bust involved joint efforts from various elite police units under the Ministry of Public Security, including Border Police, the National Coast Guard, the DIAC and the Air Surveillance Service.
As Minister Mario Zamora noted, the successful operation struck a blow against the drug trafficking that remains an ongoing concern for Costa Rica. It prevented nearly half a ton of cocaine from being re-exported from the country.
In recent years, South American cartels have increasingly used Costa Rica as a transshipment point, leveraging the nation’s ports to route drugs northwards. Local groups store and repackage the drugs before exporting the shipments in shipping containers.
The current administration has ramped up anti-drug efforts through new technology like scanners and increased law enforcement presence around ports. This latest Limón seizure proves authorities remain vigilant against the creative tactics employed by trafficking organizations.
With transnational drug networks constantly adapting, the fight is sure to continue. But massive busts like this 462 kilo capture send the message that Costa Rican authorities are committed to foiling narcotics operations through land, air and sea.