HomeNewsBriefCosta Rica Makes Biggest Cocaine Haul in 6 Years
BRIEF

Costa Rica Makes Biggest Cocaine Haul in 6 Years

COSTA RICA / 3 FEB 2012 BY JAKE HARPER EN

Costa Rica's authorities confiscated two tons of cocaine from two boats off the Pacific coast, in the country's biggest cocaine seizure since 2006.

Police stopped the boats carrying the cocaine off the country's Pacific coast. Among the arrested were two Costa Ricans and three Colombians, while two other Colombian men fled, reports Teletica.

Authorities said the drugs were en route from Colombia, though the exact origins and final destination of the shipment are unknown. Valued at $6 million, the seizure is the largest made by the country since 2006.

InSight Crime Analysis

Most surprising about the seizure was its size. Normally loads are broken into smaller portions to avoid losing such a large quantity in a single bust. A shipment of this size suggests traffickers have had past success shipping their wares to Costa Rica by boat and were confident that they would not be intercepted; or that they were wary of passing through Panama, an area that has seen more fighting between trafficking groups and theft of cocaine.

Drug trafficking operations in Costa Rica date back to the mid-1980s, and the southern Pacific region has long been known for its shipping routes. The evidence suggests that Costa Rica is no longer just a meeting point for Colombian and Mexican cartels but a base of operations. (See video report on the seizure, below.)

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