The Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) of Costa Rica dismantled in the last hours a criminal gang that brought marijuana from Colombia to the Central American country and distributed it in said territory.
The operation, called ‘Alta mar’, consisted of 18 raids and 11 arrests. According to data from the authorities, the drug was taken by sea in boats and entered Costa Rica through the South Pacificwhere it was later stored to be distributed.
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When deposits of money were made, show that they were for tithing
The leader of this criminal gang was apparently a 38-year-old Colombian pastor who preached in an evangelical church.. According to Michael Soto, from the OIJ, this subject passed off the profits generated by the drug as part of the tithes of the religious compound.
“Although he was not the main leader of the church, the truth is that he did have leadership and in some way he used it, when money deposits were made, to show that they were for tithes, but the church, he just did the functions inside the church,” Soto said.
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The pastor, whose last name is Cortés Franco, is a nationalized Costa Rican, as is his wife, whose last name is Beita Chacón.
Additionally, the authorities indicated that an officer from the National Coast Guard Service was collaborating with this organization, who, apparently, was in charge of notifying his partners about the operations.
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“He would notify them when operations were being carried out, when boats were entering or leaving (…) the director of the Coast Guard has helped us a lot, not only with the interventions, but also with the identification of this person, linked to the structure,” he added. Soto.
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