Costa Rica’s Security Minister Says Country Serves as ‘Warehouse’ for Cocaine Transported to U.S., Europe

By Jess Smith First Posted: Jan 05, 2022 05:23 AM EST Costa Rica’s Minister of Public Security said the country had been utilized as a cocaine “warehouse” by drug cartels and drug traffickers. According to figures from the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), drug seizures made by the police forces in Costa Rica increased 100 percent between 2018 and 2021.

Costa Rica’s Minister of Public Security Reveals Cocaine Problem

In 2018, 35.4 tons of narcotics were seized by Costa Rican police, and since then, the increase has been remarkable.

Based on the report of the OIJ, an agency similar to the FBI in the U.S., from 46.2 tons of narcotics in 2019, the numbers climbed to a historical figure of 71.2 tons in 2020. And until December 2021, criminal gangs lost 70.6 tons of cocaine and marijuana in Costa Rican territory, QCostaRica reported. In a December 22 interview with La Nacion, Minister of Public Security Michael Soto Rojas said these numbers are positive from the police point of view.

However, he admitted that from the social perspective, it generates concern.  Soto has tackled drug trafficking and its behavior in Costa Rica and other countries in the region. He said they work every day to prevent illegal drugs from reaching the U.S. and European markets despite the presence of the countries’ respective law enforcement.

Soto also addressed the violence generated by these drug cartels, especially local groups. Soto noted that the overproduction of cocaine in Colombia caused problems in all countries in the region as they were mainly affected by cocaine trafficking. READ NEXT: Niger Police Seize Cocaine Worth Nearly £9 Million From Mayor’s Truck; Illegal Drug Believed to Come From South America

Costa Rican Security Minister Says Drug Operations With Neighboring Countries Stop Drug Trafficking

The Minister of Public Security said that Costa Rica is working with Colombia, Panama, and the United States in a joint patrol to control drug trafficking in the region.

Soto noted that the operation of three countries increased their seizure figures. According to Soto, Costa Rica is geographically very close to Colombia, making Costa Rica a very desirable area for criminal structures, like Panama, which seizes more drugs than Costa Rica. Soto said, “Costa Rica is transit, a warehouse.” However, he noted that the drug does not stay in the country because the consumer price of cocaine in Costa Rica is much lower than what it is in Europe or the U.S.

He said this case is similar in Panama and other Central American countries, but only they are among “those who seize the most.” Soto said the seizure of drugs has good and bad effects for Costa Rica. He explained that it was good because it means that the Costa Rican police were working hard and coordinating with other countries in carrying out drug operations. However, Soto said it was also bad because it means that the structure or the Costa Rican territory is being used more for this type of case.

Soto further noted that both the OIJ and the Drug Control Police, which is part of the Ministry of Public Security, have dismantled very robust criminal groups in the country and arrested employees involved in drug trafficking. The minister also revealed that the methods of introducing illegal drugs into legitimate shipping had varied over the years. In the past, he said drugs were inside the container of products like fruits or a piece of furniture.

But in recent times, the legal product leaves the warehouse and is then contaminated with illegal drugs on the way to the shipping docks. Mexico Says Fentanyl, Meth Seizures Soar as Mexican Drug Cartels Import From China This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Jess Smith WATCH: Largest Cocaine Bust in Costa Rica’s History – From CBS 42
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