Costa Rican authorities on Tuesday seized 1,203 kilograms (2,649 pounds) of cocaine and arrested three Colombian nationals who were transporting the drug, the Security Ministry announced.

The Colombians were arrested along a highway in the town of Tibas, north of the capital, as they were transporting the shipment in a truck.

One of the men was driving the truck and the others were driving two other vehicles and acting as escorts. All the vehicles were seized along with two guns, the Security Ministry said.

Security Minister Mario Zamora said that this is one of the most important blows dealt to drug trafficking in Costa Rica territory in recent years.

"We are bringing to a close one of the large-scale operations that the country has had. It's been one of the most ... significant blows by our country against drug trafficking," he said.

The drug was being shipped in 60 sacks and authorities said that they smelled like seawater, causing them to suspect that the cocaine arrived in Costa Rica on board some kind of boat.

The three Colombians will face charges of international drug trafficking, a crime that in Costa Rica carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.