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- Photo via U.S. Coast Guard -

U.S. Coast Guard leads anti-drug operation in Costa Rica

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Published on Wednesday, September 13, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Coast Guard led an anti-drug operation in Costa Rica under the Joint Patrol Treaty. 

On Tuesday, a U.S. Coast Guard plane spotted a suspicious 32-feed gray speedboat crossing the Costa Rica Pacific Coast with no visible registration plate number or country flag.

U.S. officers alerted the Costa Rican Coast Guards who managed to intercept the speedboat crossing approximately 46 nautical miles off Quepos Beach in Puntarenas Province.

Costa Rican officers found large bags containing cocaine along with many fuel large containers and navigation equipment.

The three male Costa Rican crew members surnamed Mora-Marín (23), González-Valerio (34) and Alfaro-Cavalari (22) were subsequently arrested.

Officers towed the boat to the Coast Guard Station in Golfito Gulf. At the station, specialists from the Drug Control Police conducted a more thorough inspection and found about 804 cocaine packages weighing approximately one kilogram each, plus 187 marijuana packages weighing approximately one kilogram each.

Also, the boat, drugs, fuel and electronic navigation equipment were confiscated as evidence. 

The suspects were taken to the Puntarenas Prosecutor's Office, where they must wait for a judge to order pre-trial prison for those accused of the alleged crime of international drug trafficking.

As of July, a total of 37 tons of drugs have been seized in Costa Rica and transported to the U.S. for destruction.

To further combat drug trafficking, the U.S. government has allocated a $4.5 million grant to construct a Coast Guard station and pier in Limón Province.

Why hasn't increased policing stopped the drug war? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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