In a significant operation conducted by the Costa Rican Coast Guard in collaboration with US authorities, a boat named “Lexus” was intercepted in the South Pacific region, 24 kilometers off Cape Matapalo. The vessel, spotted by a US Maritime Patrol Air Patrol (MPA) on Thursday afternoon, was carrying a substantial illicit cargo.
The 38-foot-long boat, with foreign registration CP-01-3333, was equipped with two powerful outboard engines of 250Hp each. The interception, which took place at 1:36 in the afternoon and lasted 12 hours, resulted in the seizure of approximately 1,724 kilos of marijuana and 36 kilos of cocaine.
Costa Rica strictly prohibits the consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes; only medicinal use is allowed. The intercepted vessel was manned by two Nicaraguan nationals, a 44-year-old captain named Wilson and a 27-year-old sailor named Julias.
Both individuals, found to have irregular status in Costa Rica, were residents of Laguna Perla.
The Costa Rican authorities, alerted by the US MPA, initiated a chase, successfully capturing the vessel and detaining the crew members. The suspects were subsequently handed over to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
This operation comes on the heels of another recent success for the Costa Rican coast guard, which seized almost two tons of cocaine two weeks prior after chasing a boat in the Caribbean. The country has been actively combating drug trafficking, with data from the Costa Rican Drug Institute revealing that 24.7 tons of cocaine were seized in 2022.
The intercepted vessel, “Lexus,” was not only carrying a significant quantity of drugs but also had 17 tin cans containing approximately 500 liters of fuel and unspecified illicit substances. The successful coordination between the Costa Rican Coast Guard and US authorities highlights the importance of international collaboration in tackling transnational criminal activities.
The detained crew members, facing charges related to drug trafficking, are now under the jurisdiction of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, emphasizing the commitment of Costa Rica to combatting drug-related crimes and ensuring maritime security in the region.