Ecuador Seizes Submarine With Capacity For 12 Tons Of Drugs On Border With Colombia

Por Dialogo
julio 12, 2010

A submarine with the capacity to transport up to twelve tons of drugs was
seized on the Ecuadorean border with Colombia, Ecuadorean police and military
authorities announced Sunday.

“If it were a matter of transporting drugs to different countries, (the
submarine’s capacity is) ten to twelve tons,” the head of the anti-narcotics police,
Joel Loaiza, told the press.

He added that “the drug traffickers, using different methods, continue
innovating in their activities in this country.”

The custom-made submarine was located empty, near the town of San Lorenzo, in
the coastal province of Esmeraldas (in northwestern Ecuador, bordering on

Another submarine was also seized in May, fifteen meters long by three meters
wide and with a capacity of about four tons.

That vessel, which was empty and which according to the authorities was used
to transport narcotics to the United States and Mexico by way of the Pacific Ocean,
was found in the coastal province of El Oro (in southwestern Ecuador, bordering on

Loaiza indicated that the submarine found in San Lorenzo “is much larger” and
was located near residential structures capable of housing fifty people and “a
special cove where drugs were possibly stored.”

At the same time, the head of the Ecuadorean Navy’s Northern Command, Carlos
Albuja, declared Sunday that the operation to find the vessel “has been underway for
the last week.”

He added that the operation was also put into motion “in order to secure
other areas where there might possibly be a presence of illegal groups.”

Coca-leaf cultivation remains little developed in Ecuador, the Andean country
with the least drug production, according to the most recent UN report, released
Friday in Quito.

“We continue to be a transit country (for drugs), although this isn’t a
comfort,” the attorney-general, Washington Pesántez, indicated for his

Ten laboratories were destroyed in Ecuador in 2009, and 68.5 tons of drugs
were seized, including 64 tons of cocaine, according to the police.