14 persons detained in major drug raids

 Judicial agents conducted 16 raids Tuesday morning to detain 14 persons who are accused of being involved in a drug smuggling ring.

Agents conducted the raids in La Cruz, Cartago and Liberia.

The arrests stem from two prior cases. Last October agents raided a home in Heredia to find $2.5 million. The next month police discovered 150 kilos of cocaine hidden in a truck in La Cruz near the Nicaraguan border.

The criminal gang also was involved in money laundering and invested in real estate, food outlets, vehicles and boats, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Two boats and eight vehicles were confiscated Tuesday, said agents. In addition, seven pieces of real estate were frozen at the Registro Nacional, they added.

The investigation began in August. The smuggling centered on Playa Junquillal in Guanacaste, agents said. The smuggling involved moving cocaine from Costa Rica to Nicaragua, they added.

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