US, Guatemala Net 10 Tonnes Of Cocaine Aboard Drug Sub

By Dialogo
October 22, 2009

Guatemalan and US anti-drug agents have captured a semi-submersible vessel loaded with 10 tonnes of cocaine off the country's Pacific coast, Guatemala's anti-drug prosecutor said. The Guatemalan navy, in coordination with US anti-drug agents, stopped the vessel on Wednesday and captured three Colombians and a Mexican on board, prosecutor Leonel Ruiz told AFP. Anti-drug agents that helped capture the vessel said they believed the craft had been built by Colombian guerrillas. Officials said the cocaine was loaded in Colombia and headed for Guatemala, where it was to be smuggled into the United States via Mexico. The vessel was caught some 180 nautical miles (333 kilometers) off Guatemala's Pacific coast, officials said. In the past years drug cartels have increasingly been using semi-submersibles to smuggle drugs. The submarine-like vessels are hard to see and easily evade radars, as their hulls mostly underwater and only their flat tops skim the ocean surface. Unlike submarines, the vessels cannot dive. The navy is taking the vessel to a Guatemalan port, where it is expected to arrive on Friday, Ruiz said.