San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Police Seize 2,600 Kilos of Cocaine in Puntarenas

Over two and a half tons of cocaine were seized this week from a boat in a joint operation by the National Coast Guard, National Police and Drug Control Police near the mouth of the JesúsMaríaRiver in the central Pacific region.

Authorities chased an Eduardoño speedboat, which was equipped with three 200-horse-power engines, until the suspects were forced to ditch their vessel on Playa Tivives in Esparza, Puntarenas, just south of Puerto Caldera.

“This is one of the biggest seizures of the year,” said Ricardo González, head of the Public Security Ministry’s press office.

The shipment contained 130 wrapped packs, each weighing 20 kilograms.

Fourteen oil barrels were also on board.

The operation began as a routine boat search by National Police, part of a 1999 joint patrolling agreement between the United States and Costa Rica.

Authorities failed to seize the boats’ four passengers, who escaped into the mangrove swamps. No arrests have been made, González said. Police were searching the surrounding mountain areas. Authorities have not yet confirmed the boat’s origin or the suspects’ nationalities.

In July, more than 2.5 tons of cocaine were found floating by an identical Eduardoño speedboat sailing under the Colombian flag and another Costa Rican boat by Isla Negrita, across from Playa Tivives in the Gulf of Nicoya.

–Holly K. Sonneland


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