UPDATE: On Tuesday (July 4) the Alajuela court ordered the Italian tourist to 3 months preventive detention.
Q COSTA RICA – An Italian tourist, arriving in Costa Rica from Mexico this Monday morning may be spending more time in the country that he had possibly anticipated, with room and board.
The Policía de Control de Drogas (PCD) – Drug Control Police at the Juan Santamaria (San Jose) international airport – report the detention of a 41-year-old Italian tourist, identified by his last name Smaniotto, in possession of various hashish-impregnated paintings.
The foreigner arrived from Oaxaca, Mexico, and was headed towards the Pacific coastal area of Montezuma, in Cobano, Puntarenas
According to confirmed reports this morning by the press office of the Ministry of Public Ssecurity (MPS), anti-drug agents stationed at the San Jose airport terminal found two paintings in wooden frames in a suitcase belonging to the European tourist.
The paintings, of flowers and gazelles, presented a “viscous substance” which drew the attention of the anti-drug officers who immediately proceeded with a field test that tested positive for marijuana.
In addition, a trained dog of the canine unit named Sonya confirmed the suspicions of the agents.
The weight or quantity of the hashish is pending.
Hashish or hash is an extract of the cannabis plant, containing concentrations of the psychoactive resins.
The resin contains ingredients such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids—but often in higher concentrations than the unsifted or unprocessed cannabis flower.
While herbal cannabis is referred to as Marijuana, Hashish is cannabis resin. It is consumed by smoking, typically in a pipe, bong, vaporizer or joint, or via oral ingestion. As pure hashish will not burn if rolled alone in a joint, it is typically mixed with herbal cannabis, tobacco or another type of herb.
What’s next for the foreigner?
Smaniotto was immediately handcuffed and taken to the Fiscalía de Alajuela (Alajuela Prosecutor’s Office) where he will be interrogated and where he remains awaiting interim preventing detention measures, if any.
The foreigner could face charges of international drug trafficking. The penalty (time in jail) will depend on the calculation of how much of the drug was impregnated in the paintings.