Costa Rica police detain 51 migrants from Asia, Africa, Middle East

December 30, 2015

National Police officers detained a truck near the Central Pacific town of Jacó early Wednesday carrying 51 undocumented migrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

In total, the truck was carrying 26 citizens from Nepal, nine from Bangladesh, four from Eritrea, nine from Somalia, two from Iraq and one from Pakistan.

A Costa Rican man was driving the vehicle accompanied by three other Ticos. All of them were arrested.

The undocumented migrants were taken to a regional office of the Immigration Administration while the four Ticos were presented before the Prosecutor’s Office on charges of human trafficking, Garabito police chief Oswaldo Rodríguez said.

If convicted, the men could serve sentences ranging from two to six years in prison under Article 249 of the Immigration Law.

Human smugglers have been using Central America as a passageway for migrants on their way to the U.S., officials from the Public Security Ministry have stated. They often arrive in South America from other parts of the world and make their way up by plane, boat, train and highway.

Over the past two years, National Police officers have made several arrests of smugglers attempting to pass through the country with undocumented migrants from African and Asian countries.

Recommended: Costa Rica serves as a corridor for Asians, Africans migrating to the US

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