United States authorities confiscated 963 kilos (2,121 lbs.) of cocaine aboard a Costa Rican-flagged boat intercepted near Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica's government said Monday.

The drug was stashed in the Capitan Erson, crewed by two Costa Ricans and a Nicaraguan, Security Minister Mario Zamora said.

The vessel was detected Sunday between Costa Rica's Cocos Island and the Ecuadorian archipelago in the Pacific.

The Capitan Erson was previously seized last November when the U.S. Coast Guard discovered in its hold 1,081 kilos (2,381 lbs.) of cocaine, the minister said.

Zamora said he had no idea why the Costa Rican court returned the boat to its owners.

Costa Rica and the United States maintain in force a joint surveillance accord in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. EFE