A narcosub of the type found in a clandestine shipyard in Colombia.
“Navy men located two semi-submersibles that were ready to be loaded with eight tons of cocaine… During the year 2021 and so far in 2022, 43 semi-submersible naval devices have been seized.”
Colombia’s criminal organizations have always proven capable of evading detection through innovation. According to Colombian weekly magazine Semana, the country’s navy discovered a clandestine shipyard meant for building “narco-subs” for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group. The shipyard was found in Nariño, a department on the southern border with Ecuador. According to the article, the shipyard contained two half-built, 82-foot semi-submersibles with a full range of modern equipment. Colombian authorities have seized more than 40 semi-submersibles since the beginning of 2021.
Right-leaning Mexican daily El Universal says that traffickers have employed semi-submersibles with increasing frequency in the Pacific Ocean. Colombian groups have recently started using this maritime route to move their products to Mexican criminal organizations rather than the land route. Each narcosub can carry about four tons of cocaine.
Other semi-submersible submarines have been making trans-Atlantic and Pacific crossings in recent years. Although there are no known instances of drug traffickers accomplishing this feat, it suggests that it is plausible that criminal organizations can ship their own product, even across the Atlantic, rather than hiding it in shipping containers or having to pay off corrupt customs officials. Such a development would remove several points of vulnerability from the drug trafficking supply chain, making detection and interdiction more difficult in the vast oceans.
“Encuentran dos semisumergibles en selvas de Nariño, listos para cargar de cocaína (An encounter of two semi-submersibles in the jungles of Nariño, ready to load cocaine),” Semana (Colombia’s most famous weekly magazine), 16 March 2022. https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/encuentran-dos-semisumergibles-en-selvas-de-narino-listos-para-cargar-de-cocaina/202239/
Navy men located two semi-submersibles that were ready to be loaded with eight tons of cocaine…Semi-submersibles are used by drug traffickers to ship tons of cocaine undetected…During the year 2021 and ..in 2022, 43 semi-submersible naval devices were seized.
Source: “CJNG. Salsa Club, el antro de los narcos mexicanos en Colombia (CJNG. Salsa Club, the den of Mexican drug traffickers in Colombia),” El Universal (a major Mexican daily that tends to lean right), 12 April 2022. https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/mundo/cjng-salsa-club-el-antro-de-los-narcos-mexicanos-en-colombia
The celebration was used by Colombian and U.S. agents to infiltrate and find out the details of the Mexican-Colombian criminal alliance to traffic cocaine in semi-submersibles through a maritime corridor of the Pacific Ocean that leaves the coast of San Juan de la Costa en route to…Mexico and the US. The corridor covers the Pacific coasts of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Central America, and Mexico, and in the 21st century it became a vital drug trafficking route from South to North America.
Image: A narcosub of the type found in a clandestine shipyard in Colombia.
Source: Peru Ministry of Defense via Wikimedia, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peru_Narco-submarine.jpg
Attribution: CC BY 2.0