Agents say country was keystone in drug smuggling plot

One of the Colombian men is escorted on the way to jail. Photo: Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública

Security officials say it was a tip to the anti-drug telephone line that led them to a gang that recruited Costa Rican fishermen to carry drugs from Ecuador to México and Guatemala.

In raids Saturday the Policía de Control de Drogas detained five Colombians and a Costa Rican woman. They said that the drug gang set up headquarters in Costa Rica but that none of the drugs ever actually entered Costa Rican territory.

Raids took place Saturday morning and afternoon in Barrio 20 de Noviembre in Puntarenas, in la Uruca, Hatillo and San Pablo de Heredia.

A Colombian man who has residency here, identified by the last names of Flores Palacios, was identified as the suspected leader of the organization.

A man identified as Torres Mosquera also was held. He entered the country illegally at Sixaola March 16, 2009, and unsuccessfully sought residency based on having a Costa Rican son, said agents.

Two women with the last names of Mosquera Mosquera also were held. They are sisters who were said to be in charge of the distribution of money and the importation of money from outside the country.

A man identified by the last names of Hinestroza Largacha also was held. He was involved in transporting money from Colombia, agents allege.

A Costa Rican woman identified by the last names of Solís Esquivel was detained.

She is the mother of a 3-year-old who has Flores Palacios as a father, police said.

Agents said they had been working on the case but did not know the names of those involved until the tipster made the call in June.

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Seguridad Pública photo
One of the Colombian men is escorted on the way to jail

In December agents detained one of the Mosquera women after they found $40,570 in her purse, they said. That was in Atenas. Last Tuesday police stopped Hinestroza and Ms. Solís at a checkpoint in Villa Briceño de Golfito and discovered $17,028, they said.

In neither case were the individuals jailed. Instead judges required them to sign in with prosecutors every 15 days, agents said.

Agents also said they were investigating the illegal entry of other Colombians who were used for monitoring of the Costa Rican fishing boats.

Boats are a preferred method of smuggling drugs because there are so many of them. Agents said that fishing boat captains received large amounts of cash to carry the drugs north.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.