San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Drug trafficking

Coast Guard chases down boat carrying at least 1.4 metric tons of marijuana

The Costa Rican Coast Guard captured a boat Monday that ferried at least 1.4 metric tons of marijuana, according to a Public Security Ministry press release. Yesterday evening, a U.S. P3 maritime surveillance plane spotted a suspicious boat some 100 kilometers off the coast of Limón. When authorities pursued the vessel, its crew began throwing packages of drugs overboard into the Caribbean, the ministry stated. The Coast Guard was able to recover 1,355 kilograms of “high red” marijuana, both on board and in the surrounding waters.

Coast Guard officers arrested three Costa Ricans surnamed Ortega, Zúñiga and Muñoz. Muñoz was wanted on a previous weapons charge. Police also arrested a fourth suspect from Nicaragua.

U.S. authorities involved in the operation said the boat captured Monday evening had the same call numbers as another boat that escaped the Costa Rican Coast Guard on Sept. 12, after its crew threw an additional 1.4 metric tons of marijuana overboard.

At the end of August, Drug Control Police reported 2.9 metric tons of marijuana confiscated during 2014. That total is now doubled.

Contact Zach Dyer at zdyer@ticotimes.net

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