Five Drug Trafficking Submarines Seized by Colombia Last Week
By Dialogo June 05, 2009BOGOTA, 04 June, 2009 (AFP)-On Thursday, the Colombian Navy reported that during the course of this week, Colombian authorities have confiscated five submarines used for drug trafficking. According to a press release, one of the last two vessels that were found was under construction. The vessels were discovered on Wednesday in an area of a stream located in the Sanquianga National Park on the Pacific Coast. A third vessel was found on Wednesday in this sector of Nariño department (in the Southwest) and the other two vessels were found in the Gulf of Urabá (in the Northwest), according to the report, which estimated the cost of each of the submersibles at 1.6 million dollars each. In operations conducted with the support of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Intelligence Service, 1,528 kilos of cocaine chlorhydrate, a speedboat, weapons, munitions and communication equipment were seized. The report indicated that “the approximate value of the material that was seized and destroyed amounts to $42 million (USD)”, and it points out that each vessel has the space capacity to transport between 8 to 10 tons of drugs. The report stated that “the drug trafficking organizations use these devices in order to transport large quantities of drugs from storage facilities located in Colombia, to the coasts of Central American countries. According to the Navy, the submersibles that have been found up to now-some 44 of them-are capable of traveling some 1,000 to 2,000 miles, which is equivalent to one to two week trips. According to the United Nations, Colombia produces some 600 tons of cocaine each year, which represents 60% of the worldwide supply.