Q COSTA RICA NEWS – In six days between December 19 and 23 agents of the Policía de Control de Drogas (PCD) – drug enforcement police – destroyed 206,398 marijuana plants, camouflaged in various mangroves and mountains in Osa and Quepos, on the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
The destruction was made public on Tuesday by the Minister of Security, Gustavo Mata, who explained that cultivating in mangroves is relatively new and demonstrates how drug traffickers, every day, try new ways to evade surveillance.
In the police action also seized were 10 kilograms of compressed marijuana, ready to be marketed. The Costa Rica marijuana has a lower cost than the import from Jamaica or Colombia, but authorities have found that the local weed is being mixed with the imported and sold as a single product.
Police data reveals that a pound (453 grams) of the Jamaican (high quality) marijuana has a street value of ¢800,000 colones (US$1,400 dollars); the Colombian (regular quality) ¢400,000; and the Costa Rica, considered poor quality, ¢80,000.
Marijuana cigarettes rolled with the Costa Rican product sells for ¢1,000 colones (US$1.80). A few months ago it sold for ¢1,600.
Mata explained that they failed to locate those responsible for the marijuana crops.
Joining the PCD in the police action were agents of the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea (SVA) – Air Surveillance Service and Policia de Fronteras (Border Police) in the areas of Dominicalito (Bahia Ballena), Coquito and Jalaca (Palmar) and Finca Puntarenas (Piedras Blancas), all in the Osa canton; and Hatillo Viejo and Hatillo Nuevo (Saavegre), in the Quepos canton.
Minister Mata said that the plants were planted in small spaces, but that in total they occupied an area that was estimated at 19,538 square meters.
With the destruction of the 206,698 marijuana plants, the total this year is 2,108,282. In 2015, a total of 1,728,024 plants were eradicated.
Source La Nacion