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Friday, July 12, 2024

Costa Rica Coast Guard Seizes 2 Tons of Cocaine in Semi-Submersible

The semi-submersible intercepted this Wednesday in Golfito, Puntarenas, was carrying more than two tons of cocaine. This handcrafted vessel, made of fiberglass, was stopped by the Coast Guard 200 kilometers offshore from the Osa Peninsula.

Two Ecuadorians and a Colombian, who were traveling in this vessel, were detained by the authorities.

“We managed to seize a total of 2,200 packages, each weighing approximately one kilogram, which is a very important cargo and a hard blow to criminal structures,” said Martin Arias, director of the Coast Guard. Arias also confirmed that the drugs were destined for Costa Rica and that this shipment has a wholesale value of $17 million.

“There are two hypotheses of investigation about the destination of this drug; the first one is that it was brought to be stored in the country and then to be re-exported. Let’s remember that Costa Rica is an export platform for third countries. The second theory indicates that it could be distributed by the local mafia to be sold on the domestic market,” said Mario Zamora, Minister of Security.

These semi-submersibles are used for trips to South America, Central America, and Mexico. According to the Coast Guard director, the Colombian navy captures around 20 such vessels per year, and most of these are used for a single trip.

“Many of these vessels are abandoned on the coasts, while others are sunk by criminal groups when they achieve their goal,” Arias said. Police forces from the Ministry of Public Security have intercepted two semi-submersibles full of drugs in Costa Rica’s Pacific waters so far this year.

The first case occurred on January 18. The Coast Guard, together with Air Surveillance and the Drug Control Police (PCD), captured the vessel 90 nautical miles off Flamingo, Guanacaste, after three days of surveillance in coordination with the Colombian Navy.

In total, the authorities found 1,990 packages, destined for Nicaragua. Each package, weighing about a kilo, is valued in Costa Rica at approximately half a million colones.

Two Nicaraguans and one Costa Rican were arrested for transporting the drugs in these fiberglass boats and are currently in prison. They had previously escaped from a prison in Colombia.

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