San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Drug Raids Net Arrests, Guns, Cash But No Drugs

During raids this week, Drug Control Police say they took down a drug-trafficking gang operating in Limón on the central Caribbean coast.

Ten people, including two policemen, a port official and the president of the Limón Independent Fishers’ Association, were arrested during the Tuesday raids, which netted firearms, boats, money and 11 captive turtles.

No drugs, however, were recovered.

Authorities said the operation against a gang known as the Napos, a group they credit with large-scale cocaine and heroin trafficking, had been planned for a year.

“Various subjects were trafficking in drugs … from a sector of the Caribbean known as ‘Dos Aguas,’” states a Public Security Ministry press release. “During an investigation, Drug Control Police succeeded in determining this organization traded in drugs nationally and internationally.”

Authorities gave no explanation for why they found no drugs were found.

The arrested suspects, identified by last names, include: Casanova, 37, the alleged ringleader, also known as “Napo”; Garita, Napo’s right-hand man; Jímenez, the president of the fishing association, also known as “La Gorda” (Fat Woman); Solís, 41, a National Police officer; Caballero, 43, a member of the Coast Guard; Hanson, 43, an employee with the Atlantic Port Authority; Walker, 37; Reñasco, 30; Agüero, 44; and Sevilla, 30.

Authorities claim Jímenez supplied the gang with large amounts of governmentsubsidized gasoline from the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute and that Hanson is the intermediary between suppliers here and buyers in the United States.

Police said Solís and Caballero served as the law enforcement “eyes and ears” of the narcotics gang.

During the raids, police seized seven firearms, including a mini-Uzi submachine gun, ¢2 million ($3,600), 620 euros, six boats and 11 turtles, which were presumably to be sold on the black market.

–Nick Wilkinson


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