In a sweeping crackdown, the Judicial Investigation Organism (OIJ) has executed 30 raids since Monday morning, targeting a group under investigation for suspected money laundering and drug trafficking.
The operations spanned various locations, including Cartago, Alajuela, Desamparados, and La Garita. The objective was to apprehend approximately 18 individuals, including Colombian nationals and Costa Ricans, revealed Michael Soto, Deputy Director of the judicial police. As of 8:35 a.m., 15 people had been confirmed detained.
The OIJ attributes drug trafficking activities to this group, asserting that they orchestrated the transportation of cocaine and marijuana via speedboats from Colombia to Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast and subsequently to San Jose.
A press release from authorities disclosed that the distributed marijuana remained within the country, while the cocaine was dispatched to North American and European destinations.
Linked to two homicides, the group reportedly targeted a formal worker who filed a labor complaint and a security employee accused of stealing items, provoking the ire of one of the organization’s leaders.
Deputy Director Michael Soto emphasized the significance of dealing a blow to this criminal organization, stating that the investigation, described as “arduous and tenacious,” commenced in 2021.
According to OIJ findings, the organization allegedly used proceeds from drug trafficking to launder money through legitimate businesses. Soto identified a supermarket chain called Plaza (now defunct), as well as a gas station and lubricant center in Santo Domingo de Heredia.
Soto did not rule out the possibility of other businesses being linked to the group, indicating that investigations are ongoing. The organization employed front men to conceal the movement of funds and integrate them into the national banking system.