The Colombian Navy Captures an Alleged FARC Semisubmersible

The Colombian Navy Captures an Alleged FARC Semisubmersible

By Dialogo
November 20, 2014




In a joint operation, the Colombian Navy and Air Force recently seized a submersible vessel that terrorists were constructing in the Department of Nariño.

The semisubmersible, allegedly constructed by members of the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), would have had the capacity to transport up to six tons of cocaine if it had been completed.

“The semisubmersible was made of fiberglass and had a length of 18 meters long and 4 meters wide. It was found along with a diesel engine, propellers, rudder and related equipment,” the Navy reported.

But with support from the Colombian Air Force, Navy land and sea units with the Poseidon Task Force against Drug Trafficking discovered the vehicle’s workshop in a remote area of Nariño on October 22nd. Nearby, they also found a clandestine lab used to produce cocaine paste; there, they seized more than two thousand gallons of liquid chemicals used to process the drugs, as well as a 9mm machine gun and ammunition.

Seizure of vessel hampers FARC's ability to transport drugs: security analyst


The vessel’s seizure hampers the FARC’s ability to transport drugs – and it relies on drug trafficking and other criminal enterprises to purchase weapons, construct bombs, and fund other components of its terrorist operations.

“The main sources of financing (for the FARC) are still cocaine traffic and illegal mining, which is why the authorities are in a permanent fight against them,” said Yadira Gálvez González, a security analyst from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

When Colombian security forces seize a narcosemisubmersible, the financial impacts are significant. They cost between US $500,000 and $1 million (USD) to build, depending on the materials and the engine power, according to Héctor Chávez Villao, security expert and researcher from the University of Guayaquil.

Drug trafficking organizations usually build semisubmersibles rather than semisubmarines, because they are less expensive to construct. Unlike semisubmarines, semisubmersibles cannot dive into the water; typically, the cockpit and exhaust gas pipes of semisubmersibles remain above the surface. However, some drug trafficking groups have constructed semisubmarines, which can dive deep into the water and are built to evade detection by radar, sonar, and infrared security systems.

“Most are made of fiberglass and wood, with single or twin diesel engines, but the building materials account for only a fraction of the price tag. The most expensive investment criminals make in these operations is keeping 10 or 15 workers for 30 to 45 days in a secret location, and the silence of these workers can be very costly."

“The returns, though, are huge. A kilogram of cocaine goes from $1,800 in Colombia to $9,000 in Mexico and up to $20,000 or $25,000 in the United States.

Semisubmersible seized in Tumaco


The Poseidon Task Force against Drug Trafficking is not the first team of Colombian security forces which has seized a semisubmersible tied to drug traffickers: since 1993, they’ve seized 84 illegal semisubmersibles or semisubmarines which were allegedly used by drug traffickers.

“The security forces are improving their capabilities of maritime intervention and strengthening the international cooperation in judicial matters,” Gálvez said. “We have made significant progress in the fight against drug trafficking in Colombia, and drug manufacturing has been declining in the country.”

That progress has international consequences, because the FARC allegedly collaborates with large drug trafficking groups, such as the Clan Úsuga, to transport cocaine out of Colombia.

“The connection and the critical financial ties between the guerrillas and organized crime are well established, as is the fact that they operate internationally,” said Chávez Villao. “Several of these episodes in the last few years have involved citizens of several nationalities, as well as drugs that were in the process of crossing borders.”



In a joint operation, the Colombian Navy and Air Force recently seized a submersible vessel that terrorists were constructing in the Department of Nariño.

The semisubmersible, allegedly constructed by members of the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), would have had the capacity to transport up to six tons of cocaine if it had been completed.

“The semisubmersible was made of fiberglass and had a length of 18 meters long and 4 meters wide. It was found along with a diesel engine, propellers, rudder and related equipment,” the Navy reported.

But with support from the Colombian Air Force, Navy land and sea units with the Poseidon Task Force against Drug Trafficking discovered the vehicle’s workshop in a remote area of Nariño on October 22nd. Nearby, they also found a clandestine lab used to produce cocaine paste; there, they seized more than two thousand gallons of liquid chemicals used to process the drugs, as well as a 9mm machine gun and ammunition.

Seizure of vessel hampers FARC's ability to transport drugs: security analyst


The vessel’s seizure hampers the FARC’s ability to transport drugs – and it relies on drug trafficking and other criminal enterprises to purchase weapons, construct bombs, and fund other components of its terrorist operations.

“The main sources of financing (for the FARC) are still cocaine traffic and illegal mining, which is why the authorities are in a permanent fight against them,” said Yadira Gálvez González, a security analyst from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

When Colombian security forces seize a narcosemisubmersible, the financial impacts are significant. They cost between US $500,000 and $1 million (USD) to build, depending on the materials and the engine power, according to Héctor Chávez Villao, security expert and researcher from the University of Guayaquil.

Drug trafficking organizations usually build semisubmersibles rather than semisubmarines, because they are less expensive to construct. Unlike semisubmarines, semisubmersibles cannot dive into the water; typically, the cockpit and exhaust gas pipes of semisubmersibles remain above the surface. However, some drug trafficking groups have constructed semisubmarines, which can dive deep into the water and are built to evade detection by radar, sonar, and infrared security systems.

“Most are made of fiberglass and wood, with single or twin diesel engines, but the building materials account for only a fraction of the price tag. The most expensive investment criminals make in these operations is keeping 10 or 15 workers for 30 to 45 days in a secret location, and the silence of these workers can be very costly."

“The returns, though, are huge. A kilogram of cocaine goes from $1,800 in Colombia to $9,000 in Mexico and up to $20,000 or $25,000 in the United States.

Semisubmersible seized in Tumaco


The Poseidon Task Force against Drug Trafficking is not the first team of Colombian security forces which has seized a semisubmersible tied to drug traffickers: since 1993, they’ve seized 84 illegal semisubmersibles or semisubmarines which were allegedly used by drug traffickers.

“The security forces are improving their capabilities of maritime intervention and strengthening the international cooperation in judicial matters,” Gálvez said. “We have made significant progress in the fight against drug trafficking in Colombia, and drug manufacturing has been declining in the country.”

That progress has international consequences, because the FARC allegedly collaborates with large drug trafficking groups, such as the Clan Úsuga, to transport cocaine out of Colombia.

“The connection and the critical financial ties between the guerrillas and organized crime are well established, as is the fact that they operate internationally,” said Chávez Villao. “Several of these episodes in the last few years have involved citizens of several nationalities, as well as drugs that were in the process of crossing borders.”
The FARC won't agree to submit to the conditions for peace sought by President Santos. The drug business gives them huge profits. I can't imagine the members of that armed group sitting behind a desk waiting to be paid every two weeks to survive This so-called peace is a deception by President Santos, in complicity with the Attorney General who was the one who made him president. Congratulations to the military forces. This is how to honor our country and show that we really have heroes in spite of the bad elements that make it into and infiltrate but we have to put an end to them no matter what. Congratulations to the Colombian Armed Forces for their efforts and effectiveness, This is my beautiful country that's how you do it, with courage. It's good they're taking the weapons from the criminals. I hope the things they seize are used for the good of the Colombians and they don't let them rot. The money they seize should be used for the good of those most in need. What a good day to play
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