Cocaine haul in the Gulfo Dulce turns out to be much larger

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo Ministry officials inspect the confiscated cocaine at its arrival at Juan Santamaría airport Wednesday.

Costa Rican security forces are now calling the apprehension of nearly two tons of cocaine along the Pacific Coast early Tuesday morning the largest bust in five years.

Initially the security ministry said the capture was of about one ton, found on one of the three fastboats law officers captured.

The other two boats were carrying fuel. But the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública reported that another 815 packets of cocaine were stored on the sand, bringing the total confiscation to over 1,900 kilograms, about 4,200 pounds.

Security forces, working in conjunction with air support from a U. S. Coast Guard plane, were also able to detain two suspects
who fled into the hills after authorities approached the boats.

Five suspects, three Colombians and two Costa Ricans, were arrested in the incident. The Costa Ricans were identified by security officials by the last names Chavarría Porras and Valverde Navarro. Officials identified the Colombians as having the last names Valencia Moreno, Ortiz Barreiro and Arazugo.

Costa Rican officials say the operation was initiated with information exchanged with the U.S. Coast Guard and with use of one of the boats the United States government donated to Costa Rica last year. The boats were forced ashore at Punta Tigre on the west shore of the Golfo Dulce south of Puerto Jiménez. The cocaine was brought by plane to a Costa Rican airbase at Juan Santamaría airport Wednesday.

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