Joint Costa Rica-US patrols yield more than 2,000 kilos of drugs

March 24, 2015
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Joint patrols between the Public Security Ministry’s (MSP) Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard confiscated a total of 1,815 kilos of compressed marijuana, 538 kilos of cocaine and 37 fuel barrels, in three separate operations carried out over the past week in Costa Rica’s Pacific and Caribbean waters. Authorities suspect that the fuel was used to power smuggling boats.

The most recent operation took place in the early hours of Tuesday when MSP Coast Guard officials found the marijuana cargo hidden on the fishing boat Purple Ice, near Cieneguita beach in the Caribbean province of Limón.

Last Friday U.S. Coast Guard officials nabbed fishing boat Capitán Byron off Cape Matapalo in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific. The vessel was carrying 538 kilos of cocaine. All three crew members were detained.

Last Saturday a joint patrol in the Pacific detained the fishing boat La Pipilacha, also near Cape Mata Palo. The boat’s only cargo was  37 fuel barrels, 25 of them empty. All crew members were arrested and taken to the public prosecutor’s office under suspicion of providing fuel for drug boats.

All detainees in these operations are currently in custody and could face penalties of up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata Vega highlighted on Tuesday morning the importance of joint Costa Rica – U.S. patrols that led to the arrests and seizures.

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