While some expats complain about the time and effort needed to obtain a firearms carry permit, two men with such permissions were detained Tuesday night in the company of $4.1 million.
The Fuerza Pública said that the two men, identified by the last names of Vega and Ortiz, were fully licensed to carry weapons. Neither has a criminal record, said officers. The money in U.S. currency was neatly stacked in a spare tire in the back of the pickup in which the men were riding.
Officials are presuming that the money represents proceeds of drug sales, perhaps in the United States, that was being transported back to the headquarters of a Columbian cartel.
Police officers stopped the vehicle and the two men at a checkpoint in Montes de Oro, Puntarenas. An officer became suspicious because the spare tire was not inflated, officials said. The tire also was from a trailer and not the size for the pickup, they added.