The operation was carried out on Saturday and Sunday when an alert was received from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Colombian Navy.  / Ministry of Security courtesy photo

Published Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Colombia and the U.S. support in the
arrest of international traffickers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the support of the Colombia Navy and the United States Coast Guards, the Costa Rican Drug Control Police captured the crew of a boat that transported approximately two tons of cocaine, announced the Ministry of Security.

According to the Ministry, the operation was carried out on Saturday and Sunday when an alert was received from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Colombian Navy, about the detection of a ship with an alleged drug shipping entering waters off the Caribbean in Costa Rica.

The Costa Rican Coast Guard Service responded to the alert with the work of two interceptor boats GC 38-9 and GC 38-17 from the Limón District station in Limón Province.

In a patrol job with the support of the U.S. Coast Guards, the Costa Rican Air Surveillance Service detected the ship sailing about 20 nautical miles off Matina Port, in the same province.

"The crew of that ship, upon noticing the police presence, began to throw the cargo into the water and fled to the south, trying to reach the border with Panama," the Ministry said in its statement.

However, the ship was intercepted on Costa Rican waters, about 15 nautical miles from Westfalia Beach.

"The vessel was intercepted for which several warning shots had to be fired," the ministry said.

The guards detained four four crew members, all men of Colombian nationality, surnamed Otero-Muñoz, Medina-Ramos, Pérez-Manjarrés and Chaverra-Valdez.

The foreigners' ship, identified its name of Lucas, with three 300 HP engines, in which 16-fuel containers loaded with approximately 650 liters of fuel were transported.

After reviewing the ship, the coast guard officers could not find the drugs on board. They began a search, managing to find on Sunday the cargo that was floating off the coast of Cahuita Beach and Manzanillo Beach.

The coastguards managed to recover 83 large bags plus 47 small packages with the alleged cocaine.

The four foreign-born suspects were taken to the cells of the Public Ministry where they were interrogated by the judicial agents and after that, they must wait until a judge orders the pre-trial measures against them.

The drug was delivered to the Drug Controls Police at the Coast Guard station located in Portete Port in the same Province.

The agents of the Drug Control Police came to that place to carry out the investigations and, after the detailed review of the drug, it was confirmed that it was 2,093 packages with cocaine weighing approximately one kilogram each.

This is the second shipment of drugs seized over the weekend.

The first shipment of 3.3 tons was also seized in waters off the Caribbean Coast on Saturday, the Ministry said.

According to Michael Soto, Minister of Security, this year 26.3 tons of cocaine have been seized in several anti-drug operations.

Video of the boat being captured is up online on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Security.

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