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Cost Rica finds 4.3 tons of cocaine in boxes onboard Cala Palma

Costa Rica witnessed the second biggest drug seizure in the history of the country unravel on 17 July.

The authorities successfully seized 4.3 tons (907 kg) of Colombian cocaine inside shipping containers hidden between ceramic tiles at the port of Moin, onboard the container vessel Cala Palma.

The drug bust was undertaken by the Drug Control Police (PCD) of the country as part of stringent anti-narcotic operations supported by the United States in the region. The main objective of the initiative is to intercept drugs transiting Costa Rica from other central American nations towards Europe concealed with other cargo on board shipping containers.

The seizure included a total of 4,329 packages of cocaine arriving in containers on board the Cala Palma. The first container inspected by the PCD after initial suspicions contained 173 packages, leading to the discovery of the entire consignment.

In recent times, Costa Rica has witnessed increasing traffic of ships smuggling drugs inside containers from the Central American nations towards Europe.

The reefer cargo ship Cala Palma also arrived in Costa Rica from the Colombian port of Turbo. The data suggests that a total of 10.7 tons of cocaine has been uncovered from containers in 2021 till now, and approximately 16.2 tons in 2020.

The statement of the Security Minister of Costa Rica read, "We're very close to 40 tons of marijuana and cocaine seizures in the country so far. We hope to surpass last year's numbers."

The biggest seizure by Costa Rica also occurred at Port Moin where in February 2020, 5 tons of cocaine were seized from containers.

The seizure on Saturday adds on as yet another success for Costa Rica against drug rackets operating in the region since the large-scale crackdown in May after which 40 tons of drugs were flown to the US for incineration last month.

Ankur Kundu

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