Container training pays off with confiscation of marijuana

Anti-drug police officer inventories the shipment of marijuna he and associates found in a shipping container. Photo: Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguirdad Pública /Paul Gamboa

Most expats are not aware that shipping containers do not take a direct route from the United States or Canada.

In fact, sometimes the ship carrying the container makes two or three stops. Two such containers were located in Moín a week ago, and they represent the tip of the iceberg involving another drug ring.

Dock workers loaded the two containers on a ship in Savana, Georgia. Each contained cartons of light beer made in the United States. The ship first went to Jamaica and then to Cartagena in Colombia before tying up in Moín on the Caribbean coast.

Anti-drug police, who have been taking part in a course to prevent illegal uses of containers noticed that the labels on the two containers were different. That should not be the case if they were shipped from the same port at the same time.

After obtaining permission from a judge, police opened the container to find 195 kilos of high-grade Jamaican marijuana packed in bags around the beer cartons. There was no effort to hide the bags, so police suspect that the smuggling operation has accomplices here.

Security ministry officials said this was a new method of smuggling drugs, but it might only be new to police

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Seguirdad Pública photo/Paul Gamboa
Anti-drug police officer inventories the shipment of marijuna he and associates found in a shipping container.

officers. The usual route of the containers would be to go to the customers warehouse where they would be opened and inventoried.

The U.N. Office of Drug Control provided the training for police officers and others who might work with containers. The training involved government workers from Limón and Caldera on the Pacific.

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