Agents from the Judicial Investigating Organization are rooting out cattle thieves who are illegally butchering stolen cows and selling the meat. Tuesday morning agents conducted six raids and arrested eight suspects in Turrialba.
During the raids agents discovered an underground slaughterhouse. There they found a load of crucial evidence like meat wrapped in plastic, machines for grinding meat, and even a grave with cattle bones. They arrested the 62-year-old owner of the illegal meat factory and confiscated his vehicle that is believed to have been used for deliveries.
At a nearby house they detained a man who is suspected to be the butcher. Agents found blood-stained clothes and shoes lying around the house, as well as rope.
A store in Mora de Turrialba was also raided and another suspected butcher was arrested. Members of the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal who were joining the investigating agents closed down the unauthorized shop. They found more than 200 kilograms of poor quality meat.
A third illegal store was raided inside a supermarket in Aquaires. The store’s owner was promptly arrested for being suspected to have a contracted agreement with the original slaughterhouse.
There was a final raid near the center of Turrialba at a chicken stand.
Besides the owner, agents detained two more men who they believed were buying the meat to sell to poor Nicaraguan coffee pickers.
The eight men were sent to prosecutors.