Tuesday afternoon a U.S. surveillance plane spotted a suspicious ship 36 nautical miles off the coast of Quepos, Puntarenas that ended up carrying at least 810 kilograms of cocaine, according to a Public Security Ministry statement Wednesday. One of the traffickers had a sizable rap sheet, including extortion and aggravated robbery.
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Police operations carried out by the Public Security Ministry during 2014 resulted in the seizure of seven tons of processed marijuana and the elimination of 872,923 marijuana plants, Minister Celso Gamboa reported on Tuesday.
After at least two significant cocaine seizures from shipping containers in Europe that originated in Costa Rica during 2014, the government has yet to bring online two X-ray scanners donated six years ago at its Limón port.
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Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa on Monday reported that joint patrols in recent weeks by the U.S. and Costa Rican coast guards have netted almost 1.5 metric tons of cocaine and led to the arrest of 11 suspects.
As the latest seizure of cocaine at the Peñas Blancas border crossing was tallied Tuesday morning, Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa announced that Costa Rica's annual haul of the illicit drug is set to exceed 26 metric tons this year, breaking 2013’s record of 21.8 metric tons.
It probably should have been a red flag for the drug trafficker that when two police officers tried to arrest him they were driving a Honda Civic.
The latest annual estimate came during the announcement of two seizures over the weekend totaling more than 600 kilos of cocaine in Peñas Blancas, the country’s only land border crossing with Nicaragua.
Cocaine seems to be falling from the sky in Costa Rica, as cops in the past 24 hours have seized more than a metric ton of cocaine in separate operations throughout the country.
Costa Rica's president and public security chief spoke with the U.S.' top military leader for the region about collaboration opportunities, border police training, humanitarian assistance and human rights.
Details of the operation are still emerging, but initial reports from Costa Rica's National Police indicate that cops on Sunday seized an SUV loaded with 400 kilograms of cocaine in the Pacific coastal province of Puntarenas. Two suspects fled and no arrests have yet been made.