June 16th, 2014 (ISH) The Costa Rican Coast Guard used information provided by the U.S. Coast Guard to confiscate 4.146 metric tons of cocaine from three vessels off the Pacific Coast between June 10-11, according to Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa Sánchez.
The cocaine was worth more than US$28 million.
The first boat, which was stopped near Punta Burica, had 1,900 kilograms of cocaine, while the second boat intercepted off the coast of Quepos had 1,000 kilograms. The last boat was found with 1,246 kilograms south of Cabo Matapalo.
Authorities are investigating whether the 11 Costa Ricans who were taken into custody are working together. They are each facing 20 years in prison if convicted of narco-trafficking.
The seizures occurred after Costa Rican lawmakers passed a measure on June 9 to continue giving the U.S. Coast Guard permission to conduct joint counter-narcotics patrols in the Central American nation’s waters and dock vessels in its ports on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
Costa Rican authorities had seized 7.2 metric tons of cocaine this year as of May 7, according to the Security Ministry.
Costa Rican authorities seized nearly 52 tons of cocaine while former President Laura Chinchilla was in office from May 8, 2010 to May 8 of this year, according to the government.