Authorities seize a ton of cocaine off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast

February 26, 2013

From Sunday to Tuesday, U.S. and Costa Rican officials confiscated a ton of cocaine transported in two drug boats in the Pacific Ocean, authorities reported.

Six people were arrested during the operation, including four Costa Ricans, two Mexicans and a Colombian, Costa Rica’s anti-drug police director, Mario Boraschi, said.

Boraschi said that on Sunday, U.S. patrol boats stopped a ship flying the Costa Rica flag that had 500 kilograms of cocaine on board. Two Costa Ricans and two Mexicans were arrested.

On Tuesday, some 180 miles from the central Pacific port city of Puntarenas, officials stopped a second boat with 500 kg of cocaine on board. Three Costa Ricans and a Colombian man were arrested on the second boat.

Boraschi said the arrests were made thanks to a joint patrol operation by the United States and Costa Rica that used a radar system to track drug boats in the area.

“We are waiting [for the suspects] to arrive at the port to initiate criminal proceedings against them,” Boraschi said.

According to an official report released this week, Costa Rica has seized 3.2 tons of cocaine already this year.

Like other Central American countries, Costa Rica is an important transit route for cocaine that is shipped from South America to consumers in the U.S. An estimated 90 percent of all cocaine destined for the U.S. market passes through Central America.

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