Colombia apprehends pioneer in ‘drug submarines’
By Dialogo March 19, 2012
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombian police said on March 17 they nabbed José Samir Rentería, wanted by the United States as an alleged pioneer in the use of small submarines to transport illegal drugs.
Rentería, alias Morfi, was wanted by U.S. and Colombian authorities for allegedly shipping cocaine in the subs, the police website announced.
Arrested in Cali, Rentería is alleged to have started shipping drugs out of the Pacific port city of Buenaventura in the 1980s.
Later, the suspect, who is a mechanical whiz, allegedly forged alliances with a front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the crime gang Los Rastrojos.
He also allegedly served as a go-between for Colombia’s Norte del Valle cartel and Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, police said.
Colombian authorities have intercepted at least five shipments in which the suspect is alleged to have taken part between 2002 and 2009, when 14.5 tons of cocaine were confiscated and another 20 people were arrested.
Since 2003, Colombian authorities have seized at least 66 homemade semi-submersible vessels used by drug traffickers, navy figures show.
The U.S. state of Florida has sought Rentería since December 2010.
[AFP, 17/03/2012; Elespectador.com (Colombia), 17/03/2012]