Eight arrested in 'fruit business' drug raid

Sept. 23, 2011 at 3:15 PM

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Costa Rican authorities arrested eight people allegedly involved in a drug-trafficking operation that used a fruit distributor as a cover, officials said.

Drug control police arrested one Colombian and seven Costa Ricans who are allegedly members of an organization that infiltrated a legitimate fruit business to export drug shipments from Colombia, EFE reported Thursday.

Security Minister Mario Zamora said authorities were able to dismantle the drug operation with the coordination of Interpol and Spanish police.

Zamora also told of a drug seizure involving the same organization in Tarragona, in the northeastern part of Spain, where police discovered 81 pounds of cocaine in August, arresting eight people.

The overall investigation began in November when cocaine began entering Costa Rica and Honduras from Colombia, the minister said.

Twelve raids have been carried out in the provinces of Limon and San Jose.

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