Costa Rican police nab cocaine speedboat in the Caribbean
Officers from the Coast Guard and the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) on Thursday night seized at least 600 kilograms of cocaine from a speedboat and arrested three men in the Caribbean province of Limón.
The three men, Colombian nationals, dumped the drugs into the sea in an attempt to escape from police, Coast Guard Director Martín Arias said in a press conference on Friday.
Officers spotted the boat around midnight and began the chase.
“When the suspects were chased, they left the engines running and jumped into the sea, where they had to be rescued,” Arias said.
Officials are taking inventory of the drug shipment, estimated at 600-1,000 kilos of cocaine.
The capture of the three men took place some 20 miles offshore in front of Tortuguero Beach, 250 miles northeast of San José.
Arias said Costa Rican officials had obtained information from agencies in other countries that a drug shipment would be made in the area.
“The boat left Colombia and was hidden for a few days in Panama. They were probably heading to Belize, Guatemala or further north, we’re not certain. Those boats usually carry at least a ton of drugs,” Arias said.
Costa Rica’s Caribbean region is a common route for drug traffickers shipping cocaine north, and importing marijuana from Jamaica. Earlier this year, Costa Rican police seized 1,730 kilos of cocaine in an abandoned boat. Last month, they seized 1,200 kilos of marijuana.
International drug trafficking in Costa Rica is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
You may be interested
Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean BushbyEllen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018
A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…
Costa Rica launches Pride Connection networkElizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018
As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…
Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past weekThe Tico Times - May 21, 2018
Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…