May 8th, 2014 (ISH) The Costa Rican Coast Guard confiscated about 1,900 kilograms of cocaine off two fishing vessels in the Pacific Ocean near the city of Golfito as part of Operation MARTILLO, Public Security Minister Mario Zamora said on May 6.
“This is the most important seizure in years,” Zamora said during a press conference the next day. “I have the honor of saying goodbye with the announcement of one of the greatest strikes against drug trafficking in recent years,” he added.
Zamora and the rest of outgoing President Laura Chinchilla’s staff exits office on May 8. Costa Rican authorities have seized nearly 52 tons of cocaine since Chinchilla was sworn in on May 8, 2010.
Three suspects who were arrested in connection with the seizure could face between eight and 10 years in prison if convicted.
Incoming Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa Sánchez thanked the U.S. for detecting the suspicious vessels traveling toward the U.S.
Operation MARTILLO is a multinational effort that includes Canada, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. It strives to disrupt transnational criminal organizations by limiting their ability to use Central America as a transit zone.