South American drug runners are creating new specialized smuggling vessels, as evidenced by a sophisticated electric submersible seized earlier this month.
On Nov. 5 the Colombian Navy, assisting by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and local law enforcement agencies, raided an artisan boatyard near the Cucurrupí River in the Chocó area of Colombia. Under a makeshift roof they discovered a high-capacity narco submarine, the Colombian Navy announced on Twitter.
The submarine is estimated to have cost $1.5 million to construct, according to officials. Based on the plans that were seized by Colombian authorities, had it sailed, it would have carried some six metric tons of cocaine towards the American market, valued at around $120 million.
Although this vessel’s design appears to have been active for at least three years, none have been interdicted at sea. This latest discovery by the Colombian Navy is a reminder that these sophisticated drug transports are still being built, inferring that spending more than $1 million is worth the effort for the traffickers. The engineer behind this latest vessel was arrested during the raids, but it’s unclear if his design will live on with a new engineer filling in his role.
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