Bogota, Colombia: FARC Stealth Drug Submarine Seized By Authorities

26 Sep

Colombian authorities have seized a stealth submarine apparently belonging to FARC rebels which was designed to transport tons of cocaine to destinations in Central America, police said.

A Colombian soldier looks at a tank to store liquid cocaine in a cocaine laboratory in 2010

The large, wood-and-fiberglass submersible was discovered in an area along the coast some 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the busy port of Buenaventura, west of Bogota, anti-narcotics police chief General Luis Perez told reporters.

“It can fit 10 tonnes of cocaine” and “belongs to the 29th front of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas in alliance with drug gangs that operate in Valle del Cauca” department in the country’s south, Perez said on Saturday.

The vessel cost about $1.7 million dollars, could host a crew of five, and was being prepared to transport cocaine to Central America, officials said.

Since 1993 authorities have seized 66 semi-submersibles used to smuggle drugs, including seven in 2011, according to the Colombian navy.

The Marxist FARC along with other current and former paramilitary groups have waged a violent campaign to control parts of Colombia‘s Pacific coast, which is a key drug trafficking staging ground.

Colombia ranks as the world’s largest producer of cocaine, with 350 tons in 2010, and drug cartels are constantly seeking out new ways to remain under the radar.

The subs — nearly undetectable once they head into open water — have gained favor with cartels because they can carry such large amounts of drugs and can be easily abandoned or sunk by traffickers, who can then pose as castaways.

 

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