Drug sub
Image: Wikimedia Commons.

The Colombian military has foiled a group of smugglers in South America by finding a cocaine-filled drug smuggling submarine before it left on its mission. These crafts are not true submarines as they do not fully submerge but rather cruise along with only part of the hull above water. Sonar cannot pick up these vessels easily.

Joint task force finds drug smuggling operation

A joint operation of Colombian authorities including the air force, the navy and the Colombian Inspector General’s office has resulted in a major bust and serious blow to drug smugglers in the area, according to the Daily Mail. Authorities found the drug smuggling submersible in the mangrove swamps of the region of Cauca, near the town of Timbiqui. Cuaca is on the Pacific coast of Colombia, and the swamps lead directly to the sea. The drug submarine was already loaded with eight tons of cocaine and contained computers for navigation and bunks for a four-man crew. There were no persons aboard the craft when it was discovered, but some firearms were recovered along with the cargo.

Next evolutionary step in smuggling

Drug smuggling submersibles, or Narco Subs, have been in use for years, though this craft was a new breed. Drug cartels can spend millions of dollars constructing the subs from fiberglass and other materials, though they are sometimes used only once. A drug smuggling submersible is not ordinarily a true submarine, in that the craft cannot fully submerge. However, the craft recovered from Timbiqui was capable of descending to nine meters, or about 40 feet, for extended periods. The 105-foot craft would have been able to reach the coast of Mexico or perhaps the United States, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Necessity the mother of invention

Drug cartels are becoming more crafty in the methods employed to get drugs into the United States. Drug submersibles have been known about for the past several years and were referred to as “Bigfoot” for some time because none had been caught or seen. However, one was eventually captured several years ago, and more are being found. Now that drug cartels have started making subs that can submerge, it’s anticipated that remote controlled drug submersibles are likely next.


Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1357040/Submarine-loaded-tons-cocaine-seized-Colombia.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703703804576144752329031500.html

Wikipedia on Narco Submarines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narco_submarine

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