Costa Rica is a key transfer point for the smuggling of cocaine across the continent and exportation to markets in Europe. The finding comes as part of a United Nations (UN) report by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).
The average annual seizures between 2000 and 2005 was five tons, but between 2006 and 2010, the volume increased to an average of 20 a year. This trend was confirmed in 2012 when the total quantity of cocaine seized rwched nearly 15 tonnes. INCB also emphasized that a large percentage of the cocaine entering the country does so by air, and that the country has clandestine heliports and constant sightings of suspicious aircraft.
The report also says that nearly 80 percent of the cocaine arrives in Costa Rica by air. In addition, Costa Rica has become a major transit country for cocaine which is then transported to Europe by couriers on commercial flights. Also mentioned was a Costa Rican ring that smuggled cocaine to the Belgium port of Antwerp by container ship.