Five arrests culminate year-long anti-drug probe

Anti-drug police conducted raids early Wednesday to capture five persons in the culmination of a year-long investigation that resulted in 50 arrests and the confiscation of more than 2.6 tons of cocaine.

The raids were in Rincón Verde de San Pablo de Heredia, Limón, Puntarenas and San Antonio de Coronado.

The Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública said the multinational police effort grew out of a small scale crack cocaine arrest in Santa Cruz, Guanacaste. From that arrest, agents began to learn about two drug organizations.

One was involved in moving tons of cocaine from Colombia to Guatemala by sea and land. The other provided local logistical support and received cocaine as payment.

Celso Gamboa, vice minster of Seguridad said that one of those arrested Wednesday was a major Colombian drug trafficker.
Four Colombians detained Wednesday have the last names of Sánchez Ibarguen, Rodríguez Benitez, Quiñones Riascos and Riascos Cortéz. The fifth man, a citizen of Panamá, has the last name of Vallejo Caicedo.

Over the course of a year, agents said that 24 Costa Ricans, 12 persons with Panamå nationality and 14 Colombians were detained in 19 police actions with 13 of the efforts in Costa Rica.

Wednesday agents confiscated three vehicles, four firearms, 664,000 colons and $500, they said.

Over the course of a year, they said they confiscated 2,318 kilos of cocaine.

The operation of the international traffickers was to move cocaine north by hiding the drug in tractor trailers. They also moved drugs by water, said agents. Also involved was smuggling money south to Colombia, they added.

Police agencies in Panamá and Nicaragua were involved in the investigations.

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