A criminal organization formed and led by Costa Ricans, that infiltrated the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), to finance cocaine from Colombia to Belgium, was the target of the Drug Control Police (PCD in Spanish).
In a series of earling morning raids Tuesday in Limón and Cahuita in the Caribbean and Moravia and Curribadat, in San José, 12 men were arrested and effectively dismantling the criminal group.
According to authorities, the criminal group was led by a Costa Rican named Bonilla Riva, known as “Patrón” (Boss).
Two of the arrested are BCR bank tellers in Limón, who are suspected to use their bank job to legitimize more than ¢96 million colones. The bank employees would bring in the cash into bank to deposit into accounts and then pay the group’s operations.
Jorge Chavarría, Costa Rica’s Attoreny General, described the group as “one of the most notable criminal group to be dismantled in the history of the country…”
Authorities say their investigation began in 2011 with the murder of Colombian Victor Manuel Grizales, with alleged ties to Colombian cartels, sending boats out to sea to receve the drugs from Colombian boats. Costa Rican fishermen would then transfer the drugs which were then placed in containers on their way to Europer.
Security Minister, Mario Zamora, explained that the drugs were hidden within legal products, whose owners were unaware of what has happening.
Zamora explained that the group was also responsible for the import of marijuana from Jamaica.