Arms smuggling spinoff results in freeing hostage

Fuerza Pública officers were able to rescue a kidnapped undercover police officer from Panamá Wednesday night. They also detained one individual.

The case is related to a large weapons smuggling ring. Seven persons have been detained in Panamá, said police here. Those detained there include four Costa Ricans.

Police here became aware of the situation about 4 p.m. Wednesday when they heard shots along the border near San Antonio de Sabalito.

Fuerza Pública officials learned later that one of the suspects in the shootout with police from Panamá fled taking an individual with him as a hostage. The hostage was a ranking officer in the Panamanian force who had been working undercover.

Police caught up with the fleeing individual about 8 p.m. at Sabanillas de Coto Brus and managed to free the hostage.

The undercover officer had been impersonating a buyer who was interested in purchasing illegal firearms, police here said.

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