San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Crime Beat

Police interrupt drug stickup, seize over 500 kg of cocaine

It probably should have been a red flag for the drug trafficker that when two police officers tried to arrest him they were driving a Honda Civic.

On Monday morning, two Costa Rican National Police officers arrested several suspects accused of impersonating police officers as they attempted to steal 573 kilograms of cocaine from a suspected drug trafficker in Naranjo, Alajuela, in the northwestern Central Valley.

The fake cops – two Honduran citizens surnamed Cordero and Álvarez – were dressed as National Police and Drug Control Police (PCD) officers when they pulled over three trucks, one of which carried more than half a metric ton of cocaine. The impersonators, who drove a Honda Civic, according to the police report, handcuffed the three truck drivers when two real police officers stumbled onto the scene and gave chase. Neither of the suspects had prior criminal records.

PCD drug-sniffing dogs found the cocaine hidden in the coupling between the truck and the trailer. The driver hauling the drugs was another Honduran man, a 25-year-old surnamed Vásquez, who entered Costa Rica from Panama on Nov. 19.

Other similar stickups have occurred this year, including a bungled robbery in October where the suspects impersonated Judicial Investigation Police officers.

Costa Rica’s Public Security Ministry has seized 22.5 metric tons of cocaine this year as of Nov. 23, more than any other Central American country, according to minister Celso Gamboa.

Contact Zach Dyer at zdyer@ticotimes.net

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