‘Tis the season to start smuggling those fireworks

With the holidays less than three months away, police are finding smuggled fireworks. Officials said Wednesday that police already have started their effort to keep explosive firework out of the country, in part to protect kids.

This is an effort that will not be completely successful. Come the stroke of midnight New Year’s, the sky of the Central Valley will resemble shock and awe. There will be no shortage of skyrockets and other explosive devices.

Still, the Fuerza Pública reported that officers confiscated 1.5 million explosive fireworks last holiday season. They come from Nicaragua and from Panamá.

Panamá appears to be the origin of the first confiscation of the year. Fuerza Pública officers spotted a woman in the San Vito de Coto Brus station waiting to board a San José-bound bus.

She had 1,500 individual explosive fireworks, they said. Most likely Panamá was just an intermediary stop because China has many fireworks manufacturers.

Police expressed additional concern because the woman was planning to take the explosives on a public bus and endanger passengers.

Police officials are promising strict controls over fireworks and also are asking for help from the public to complain about illegal fireworks sales and possession. The penalties are stiffer than in the past. Bringing explosive fireworks into the country can warrant six years in prison.

The first confiscation of the season.

The first confiscation of the season.

Penalties can be more if minors are involved.  The basic rule is if the fireworks explodes, it is illegal. Those that burn or give off sparkling lights are permitted, according to the law.

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