Colombia The Navy seizes the largest drug submarine in its

Colombia. The Navy seizes the largest drug submarine in its history:

The Colombian Navy announced on Friday evening, May 12, 2023 that it had seized the largest drug submarine in the country’s history, measuring 30 meters long and 3 meters wide with 3 tons of cocaine on board. The semi-submersible was stopped Tuesday en route to Central America, one of the busiest routes for the illicit trade to the United States, the world’s top cocaine user from Colombia.

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The images released by the authorities showed the long boat on the water as well as its goods landed ashore, hundreds of packages of narcotics marked “Toyota” (the smugglers are happy to provide a signature, often chosen from among the major world brands). deliveries) and in the middle three captive men.

It is the largest semi-submersible identified since this type of seizure began in 1993, in the country, the world’s largest producer of cocaine. In three decades, the Navy has hijacked 228 ships of this type, laden with tons of drugs, sailing from the Pacific to the United States or even crossing the Atlantic to Europe.

$103 million damage to human traffickers

The three Colombian suspects arrested in this latest seizure said they were forced by a drug trafficking organization to board the semi-submersible carrying the alkaloid and head to Central America. The three men, aged 63, 54 and 45, were taken to Tumaco (south) to be tried there. The Navy estimates that the seizure will cost the smugglers a loss of $103 million.

These clandestinely made, rustic, and lightweight boats move near the surface, cover greater distances than government speedboats, and are difficult to spot. Colombian legislation penalizes the use, construction, marketing, possession and transport of semi-submersibles with prison terms of up to 14 years.

After half a century of US-funded and sponsored drug wars, Colombia continues to hit record levels in cocaine production. In 2021, the cultivation of coca, from which the drug is derived, covered more than 204,000 hectares, the production of cocaine hydrochloride amounted to 1,400 tons, according to the United Nations.