Published Monday, January 11, 2021170-plus drug trafficking gangs
captured in 2020
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
In 2020, the officers of the Drug Control Police arrested the members of 171 criminal gangs dedicated to drug trafficking, surpassing 2019 numbers, according to data from the Ministry of Security.
In 2019, 147 criminal groups dedicated to drug trafficking were detained.
Of the total of those gangs arrested in 2020, 44 were dedicated to international drug trafficking and 127 to local drug trafficking, the ministry said. Among the local drug gangs, members of 29 so-called narco families were arrested.
The most recent case of international drug trafficking happened last week, when agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, supported the National Coast Guard Service, for the arrest of six men suspected of international drug trafficking.
The case began on Tuesday when the Coast Guards were alerted by the DEA about a boat that was cruising through the waters of the Pacific Coast detected as coming from South America.
Upon responding to the tip, the Coast Guards managed to intercept the ship around midnight when it had already entered the maritime zone of Costa Rica, 30 nautical miles from Cabo Blanco Beach in Puntarenas Province. This vessel was identified as a fishing boat with Costa Rican plates that read, Happy Happy 1.
In a routine inspection, the Coast Guard detected a shipment of several sacks containing packages of cocaine. The crew, made up of three Costa Ricans, two Ecuadorians, and one Guatemalan, was arrested. And the boat and the cocaine cargo were seized as part of the evidence in the case.
In a more detailed inspection by officers of the Drug Control Police, they found 13 packages, totaling 248 packages of approximately one kilo each of cocaine.
The six men were taken to the cells of the Public Ministry on Wednesday, where a judge ordered six months of pre-trial measures against them for suspicion of international drug trafficking.
The judicial agents of the Judicial Investigation Organization, ask for the people of Costa Rica to report any suspicion of drug sales or drug trafficking to the confidential line 800-8000-645, where bilingual agents can answer calls in the English or Spanish language.
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