Snakes and Cremated Ashes Sent Through the Costa Rican Post Office

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) ­- Largely due to the Internet, the Costa Rica Postal service began to decline in 2006, but they still kept sending letters. However, since then, the shipments began to be larger packages containing more odd and unusual things.

    One of the favorite stories of the Postal Processing Center (TCC) is when an albino python that got out of a package and roamed the office for several days until one of the security cameras managed to capture it.

    “We did not know where he came from because about four thousand packets are handled a day and if the customer does not know to claim it, and obviously will not do so because was a problem,” Carlos Ramirez, head of CTP explained.

    In a situation of this type, the first thing is to call the Fire Department to take charge of the animal, and then call the National Animal Health Service (SENASA) to decide where they will be transferred.

    Alexis Porras, who has worked at the Post Office for seven years and is responsible for reviewing envelopes and postcards, on one occasion opened a bag from Puntarenas, and a crab was found.

    “I reached into the bag and saw the crab inside, was alive, we took him out and threw him in water, ” Porras said. Apparently, the animal just got the bag because the branch of Puntarenas is very close to the beach and no one there noticed anything.

    According to Ramirez, they also have complications sending packages when they are written in languages ​​such as Mandarin or Cantonese, or sometimes with illegible handwriting.

    Meat, sausages and animals cannot be sent by mail, but nevertheless, people ignore the rules. Packages that are exported or are going to prisons are reviewed by a scanner to ensure they do not contain drugs or other products banned in the country.

    “There’s a whole protocol prohibited items such as live animals, sharp objects, bombs, and radioactive substances, as well as certain countries where cannot ship medicines, weapons, drugs,” said Ramirez.

    According to Gustavo Monge, sex toys are also very common in shipments from abroad through the facilities in Zapote.

    Bernardo Ramirez, director of the Department of EMS Courier, an express delivery service, recalls three cases in which he received cremated human ashes.

    Sometimes when one of the packages has a strong, unpleasant odor, it is suspected that food has gone bad and the Ministry of Health must intervene and file a report to open the package.

    Mail does not handle refrigerated cargo, and ham and meat, being perishable foods are not allowed.

    It also happens when there are drugs, although this type of crime has decreased. However, twice a week, the Canine Unit comes to make an inspection for drugs.

    Across the country there are 114 Post Office branches with an estimated 1,500 team officials who are responsible for the mail reaching its destination.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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