Coast Guard forces achieved a record by confiscating 4.1 metric tons of cocaine early Wednesday. Authorities said they found the drugs aboard three separate fishing boats along the Pacific coast and detained 11 men in all.
Minister of Seguridad Pública Celso Gamboa said it’s the largest seizure of cocaine in Costa Rican history. He also confirmed that local coast guard and drug control police again worked with U. S. Coast Guard units to carry out the triple boarding. They gave this account:
The first boat, named “Capitán Panchana,” was found off the southeast coast of Punta Burica on the Panamanian border with four men hauling 1,900 kilograms of cocaine. On the second stop, authorities found four more suspects on the “Cabo Kiyomi” fishing boat near Quepos where they seized another ton of the drug. And the final encounter carried out by both the U.S. and Costa Rican Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas units yielded 1,246 kilograms of cocaine from aboard the “Kimberly I,” found just southeast of Cabo Matapalo.
The three successive busts took place between late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.
Last week President Luis Guillermo Solís reiterated his support for the joint patrols with the U.S. Monday legislators in the Asamblea Legislative voted to extend the coordinated battle on drug trafficking by allowing U.S. Coast Guard boats in Costa Rican docks for another year.
All 11 detainees are Costa Rican nationals. More than seven tons of cocaine have been confiscated since the beginning of May when the new administration took office.