Tuesday, March 17, 2020

5 tonne cocaine seizure causing angst in Costa Rica

San Carlos produces most of the fruit, vegetables and plants that are exported from Costa Rica.
The Feb 15 seizure of a cocaine shipment in Costa Rica that would have fetched $140m wholesale at its destination was celebrated. However, the seizure confirmed what has been increasingly obvious: Costa Rica is a major exporter of cocaine to Europe. The drugs entered through one of four main routes used by traffickers: the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, the port of Limón or the land border with Panama. The trail of the five-ton shipment starts in San Carlos, an agricultural zone in the northeast.
The driver left with the plants and at some point en route to the port the drugs were loaded. Traffickers had to break the customs seal on the container and replace it with a clone — a process that requires corruption from the transport companies, the port concession, and/or customs officials. They cloned the seal and had the information to replace it with another.
Containers then enter the port district, where there is a single scanner to monitor a daily flow of thousands of containers, which is operated not by police or customs but by employees of the port concession holder, APM Terminals. In the case of the five tons of cocaine, this critical stage passed without a hitch for the traffickers, and the container entered the port without scanning.

It was a suspicious customs officer and 'profiling' that sent the container back for scanning. The 202 dark blobs of cocaine would have been impossible to miss.

See ----->Costa Rica seizes record five tons of cocaine