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Costa Rica seizes five tons of cocaine bound for Holland in largest ever drug bust

Reuters logo Reuters 2/16/2020 By Alvaro Murillo

a person wearing a costume: A police officer is seen in front of packages containing cocaine seized during an operation in the Caribbean, as Michael Soto, Minister of Public Security, speaks to the media at the air base of the Ministry of Security in Alajuela

A police officer is seen in front of packages containing cocaine seized during an operation in the Caribbean, as Michael Soto, Minister of Public Security, speaks to the media at the air base of the Ministry of Security in Alajuela
© Reuters/JUAN CARLOS ULATE

By Alvaro Murillo

SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Police in Costa Rica seized more than 5 tons of cocaine bound for the Dutch port of Rotterdam in the country's largest ever drugs bust, officials said.

The authorities on Saturday found the cocaine in Costa Rica's Caribbean port of Limon, stashed inside a shipping container of decorative canopy plants bound for the Netherlands.

The anti-narcotics police discovered the drugs in 202 small bags and said the cocaine was produced in South America, though did not specify where.

The drugs had an estimated street value of about $136 million (126 million euro) in Holland, Costa Rica's Security Minister Michael Soto said late on Saturday.

"It's a historic seizure," Soto said in a statement. "It is a blow to the regional criminal structures."

A Costa Rican man, who drove the shipment from north of the country to Limon port, was detained, authorities said.

(Reporting by Alvaro Murillol; editing by Drazen Jorgic and Lisa Shumaker)

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