Costa Rica: Police bust gang who smuggled cocaine to EU in pineapple shipments

August 23 , 2018

Authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have reportedly broken up a criminal network that has been smuggling cocaine from Costa Rica into Europe in pineapple shipments.

Local media La Region [in Spanish] reported that coordinated raids were carried out on Wednesday morning by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA), the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), and the Costa Rican Intelligence and Security Directorate (DIS) and the Drug Control Police (PCD).

In Costa Rica, authorities raided five houses, an apartment, a factory and a packing plant, according to La Teja.

Six people have been arrested, whose surnames are reported to be Pino Cortés, Jara González, Valerio Hidalgo, Gamboa Cordero, Boza Abarca and Huertas Cedeño.

The group hid the narcotics inside the wood paneling of crates filled with pineapples, shipping out from the Caribbean port of Moín in Limón.

Authorities have been following the group since March last year when the PCD received information from the FBI regarding a criminal network led by an Israeli-national whose surname was Orgad.

Costa Rican authorities managed to identify other members of the organization in October.

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  1. Jim says:

    I find it rather amusing and fascinating that the Costa Rican gang used the idea of using pineapple shipments. Costa Rica is the world’s top producer and exporter of pineapples (according to https://www.tridge.com/intelligences/pineapple), so it was creative of the gang to make use of this. But then again, they got caught so who knows.