Authorities seize 2 tons of cocaine, largest haul since 2006

February 2, 2012

The Costa Rican Coast Guard, with assistance from the Drug Control Police (PCD) and air surveillance and intelligence from the United States Coast Guard, on Tuesday seized three boats carrying almost two tons of cocaine in the Golfo Dulce, off the southern Pacific coast.

The Public Security Ministry reported the seizure is the largest quantity of drugs seized at sea in Costa Rican waters since 2006.

“Drugs, in reality, are the economic dividends that make narco-trafficking groups do what they do,” said Public Security Minister Mario Zamora. “The measures we’ve taken to obtain numerous and important seizures of drugs are going to allow us to hit [traffickers] in a fundamental financial way.”

The seizure took 10 km north of Matapalo, near Golfito. The Costa Rican Coast Guard seized two panga-style boats loaded with fuel and a third, a larger boat powered by three, 200-horsepower Yamaha engines, with 94 bales of cocaine aboard. Another 56 bales were found on the beach nearby, for a total net of 1,960 kilos of coke.

In 2006, three shipments of drugs – all seized near the central Pacific port of Puntarenas – totaled 2,998 kilos, 7,808 kilos and 3,000 kilos.

Authorities arrested two Costa Ricans with the last names Valverde and Chavarría, and three Colombians with the last names Valencia, Ortiz and Arango. 

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