An investigation that began with the murder of a naturalized U.S. citizen Nov. 3, 2011, culminated with 17 raids in the Limón area Tuesday morning and the arrest of 16 persons.
The dead man was Víctor Manuel Grizales, who was gunned down outside the Caribbean bus station.
In the investigation, anti-drug agents learned about an elaborate cocaine and marijuana smuggling operation. The cocaine was smuggled north but the marijuana came in shipping containers from Jamaica to Costa Rica for local use.
Among those detained were two cashiers for the Banco de Costa Rica and two police officers. The policemen are suspected of providing information to drug smugglers. The cashiers are suspected of exchanging dollars for colons. The Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública was quick to point out that the bank’s security agents uncovered these irregular transactions.
The cocaine operation carried the drug from Colombia to Costa Rica by boat and then placed the substance in shipping containers for transport to Europe.
The center of the operation was in Barrio Cristóbal Colón, Cieneguita, Limón, police said.
Some 28.4 kilos of cocaine were confiscated in Belgium not long after the death of Grizales, and a series of other confiscations followed.