| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Panama and Costa Rica arrest dozens over migrant smuggling network

Authorities in Costa Rica and Panama announced on Tuesday that they had detained more than 40 persons suspected of running a cross-country people-trafficking ring smuggling migrants to the United States overland.

According to the Costa Rican Security Ministry, the network handled migrants from Asian and African countries, as well as a smaller number of people from Cuba, Haiti, and Venezuela.

On Panamanian soil, 35 raids and 21 arrests were reported, while 15 operations were reported in border municipalities in Costa Rica, with another 21 persons apprehended.

According to Costa Rican Security Minister Michael Soto, an inquiry that lasted more than a year revealed that the organization charged each migrant $14,000 to $25,000 to transport them to the United States.

Police officials in Panama also seized three vehicles and a boat used to transport migrants, according to a statement from the Public Ministry.

  • Reuters