Costa Rican coffee exporters are teaming up to fight the recent 3 million dollar losses they experienced, they believe due to organized crime. For the past year, gangs have been stealing containers full of coffee, more than 18 of them to date.
Containers are being stolen either just as they leave loading docks, at storage warehouses, on roads, etc. What’s worse, is that after the coffee is stolen, it then reenters the country and is resold – evading taxes and the legal system.
Eric Thormaehlen, president of the National Chamber of Exporters of Coffee says of the situation “This way of stealing our containers is not for beginners, requires an entire organization with logistics, personnel, infrastructure, forklifts, weapons, communications systems, and even people who facilitate the movement of trucks.”
To help speed up the resolution of this crime wave, coffee exporters are pleading with the judicial authorities to take action, investigate, and find the thieves. These thefts are not only affecting the coffee producers and exporters, but the consumers as well. With the recent thefts, demand and pricing can be extremely affected. Speaker of the House of Coffee Exporters says “We cannot sell more expensive coffee, by the mere fact that thefts are occuring.”
We hope these thefts are dealt with quickly and effectively and soon see Costa Rican coffee farmers thriving again.