Men caught with one ton of drugs in Costa Rica allowed to walk free, police say

April 14, 2017

Four men caught off the coast of Limón with more than one ton of marijuana onboard their ship were allowed to walk free by ruling of an area judge Thursday. The decision led Costa Rica’s National Police Force to release a strongly worded response in disagreement with the court order, which did not even apply preliminary injunctions to the subjects.

When the men were arrested Wednesday on their high-speed boat in the Atlantic Ocean, some 75 kilometers off of the coast of Limón, they began to throw large bags into the sea at the sight of officials, according to a police report. Police said they found nearly 50 sacks of marijuana on board the ship that later weighed in at more than one ton.

The men were believed to be traveling from Jamaica, which authorities said was the origin of the drugs.

Marijuana bust costa rica
The men were throwing drugs off the ship before being arrested on Wednesday, police say. (Via MSP)

Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata expressed his disapproval of the ruling over social media Thursday afternoon. According to Mata, the judge made the decision to free the men because there was an error or miscommunication in reporting how much marijuana was actually confiscated from the vessel.

“The judge from Limón let them free and without an injunction, citing arguments that I respect but I do not agree with,” Mata said. “Now it would seem that they’re wanting to weaken the head-on fight that the Public Ministry has waged against drug trafficking.”

The men did not have any paperwork or licenses for the boat when they were detained, police said.

“What would have happened if they had been able to throw all the drugs into the sea and we didn’t retrieve them?” asked a public statement from police on Thursday night. “It’s clear that in that case they would have been charged with circumstantial evidence.”

The judge’s identity was not revealed by Public Security officials.

You may be interested

Sandinista stronghold calls for Nicaraguan leader to end repression
Nicaragua
96 views
Nicaragua
96 views

Sandinista stronghold calls for Nicaraguan leader to end repression

Blanca Morel / AFP - April 25, 2018

León, a northern city that is a bastion of support for Nicaragua's ruling Sandinista party, wants President Daniel Ortega to put…

Vinci buys more than 40 percent share of Costa Rica’s two main airports
Airports
106 views
Airports
106 views

Vinci buys more than 40 percent share of Costa Rica’s two main airports

AFP - April 25, 2018

The French company Vinci Airports bought Airports Worldwide, a portfolio with shares in 12 facilities including Costa Rica's two most…

PHOTOS: The annual Oxcart Parade in Atenas, Alajuela
Arts & Culture
171 views
Arts & Culture
171 views

PHOTOS: The annual Oxcart Parade in Atenas, Alajuela

The Tico Times - April 24, 2018

Atenas celebrated its annual Oxcart Parade on Sunday, reminding all onlookers in the Alajuela town of the importance of oxen…