Bill on confiscated goods receives first approval

Lawmakers passed an initial reading Monday a measure that lets the Instituto Costarricense contra las Drogas make use of confiscated vehicles and other goods before a judicial verdict is rendered.

Now the drug institute must await a trial or verdict in the notoriously slow Costa Rican judicial process. Many confiscated automobiles and other goods deteriorate during the wait.

The drug institute puts some of the confiscated goods into service. For example, some vehicles might be given to police agencies. But the agency also can sell them and generate funds, if the measure is passed a second time and signed by President Laura Chinchilla.

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