The United States Coast Guard officers during a routine flight over the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, alerted the Costa Rican Air Surveillance Service about a suspicious speed boat.
- U.S. Coast Guard photo -
Published Tuesday, May 4, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The United States Coast Guard officers during a routine flight over the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, alerted the Costa Rican Air Surveillance Service about a suspicious speed boat. The vessel did not have a country flag or visible plates, according to the Ministry of Security.
Costa Rican officers flew over the zone, at 124 nautical miles from Dulce Gulf in Golfito, Puntarenas Province, where the boat was detected.
Two patrol boats were sent to follow the suspicious boat, managing to intercept it on Wednesday night at a distance of 89 nautical miles from Matapalo Cape.
The officers reported what was identified as a fishing boat, but really a 32-foot speed boat equipped with two Yamaha 200 HP engines, with the name "Los Compadres" painted on one side, yet no registration or flag of the country of origin as it was alerted.
When the boat was boarded, the officers reviewed the cargo and found more than 60 packages of marijuana of approximately one kilo each.
The three-man crew made up of two Nicaraguans, surnamed Wilson and Sáenz and one Costa Rican surnamed Ewers was arrested on suspicion of international drug trafficking.
In addition to the drugs, the police seized the speedboat as part of the evidence in the case.
The suspects were jailed at the Public Ministry cells, where they were interrogated by the agents of the Judicial Investigation Organization. A judge ordered pre-trial measures against them for the accusation of international drug trafficking.
A very similar case happened two weeks ago when the U.S. Coast Guard supported Costa Rican police in the arrest of four Nicaraguan men as suspects of drug trafficking.
On April 14, the U.S. officials were leading a surveillance flight over the Costa Rica Pacific Coast, where they managed to detect a boat with no flag to the plate of the country of origin.
The U.S. officers reported the suspicious boat to the National Coast Guard, who, following the coordinates managed to intercept the targeted boat.
According to the Ministry of Security, Costa Rican officers detected the suspects sailing 63 nautical miles off the coast of Quepos Beach in Puntarenas Province.
"The suspects, upon becoming aware of the police presence, threw a package into the sea and tried to flee," the ministry said in its statement. "However, they were unable to make their escape as they were immediately detained by the coast guard."
The officers managed to intercept a two-200-HP engine boat, which did not have any identification such as name license plate, or the flag of the country of origin, as was reported by the U.S. Coast Guard in their alert.
The police were also able to recover the package that was thrown into the sea by the suspects, the ministry said.
According to the ministry, the suspects were four Nicaraguan men, identified with the surnames: Castillo -Benjamín, 38, who is also the captain of the boat, Clear-Waters, 36, Ortiz, 32, and Hogdson.
The boat, the drug and the suspects were taken to the Coast Guard Station in Quepos, where officers from the Drug Control Police made a more detailed inspection of the cargo.
Police discovered 1,336 units of marijuana plus five of cocaine. All packages weighing approximately one kilogram each.
In addition to the drugs, the police seized the boat, a firearm and 22 ammunition as part of the evidence in the case.
The suspects were jailed at the Public Ministry cells, where a judge ordered pre-trial measures against them for the accusation of international drug trafficking.
Agents call on the population to report any suspicion of drug trafficking by dialing 800-8000-645 or 11-76, both are confidential lines. Bilingual agents can answer calls in English or Spanish.
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