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Cocaine submarines: actually a real problem

I knew that drug smugglers were starting to use semi-submersible vessels but carry cocaine into North America, but it seems this is more than a freak occurrence. The Washington Post reports that more than a third of the Colombian cocaine smuggled into the United States now travels by submarine: The subs are powered by ordinary ...

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Puntarenas, COSTA RICA: A Costa Rica's Coastguard seaman keeps watch 19 November, 2006 at the Punta Arenas naval base, some 130 km west from San Jose, near to a midget submarine (R) seized November 17th to Colombian drug traffickers in Costa Rican territorial waters 80 nautical miles offshore the Pacific coastal waters. The capture was carried out during a DEA, FBI and US Coastguard and Costa Rican Coastguard joint operation. An Asiatic, two Colombians and one Guatemalan citizens were aprehended and three tons of cocaine seized in the operation, authorities said. AFP PHOTO/Rolando AVILES-PERIODICO AL DIA COSTA RICA OUT (Photo credit should read ROLANDO AVILES/AFP/Getty Images)

I knew that drug smugglers were starting to use semi-submersible vessels but carry cocaine into North America, but it seems this is more than a freak occurrence. The Washington Post reports that more than a third of the Colombian cocaine smuggled into the United States now travels by submarine:

The subs are powered by ordinary diesel engines and built of simple fiberglass in clandestine shipyards in the Colombian jungle. U.S. officials expect 70 or more to be launched this year with a potential cargo capacity of 380 tons of cocaine, worth billions of dollars in the United States.  …

U.S. officials and their Colombian counterparts have detected evidence of more than 115 submersible voyages since 2006. They have apprehended the crews of more than 22 submersibles at sea since 2007. Six crews have been arrested this year. The Colombian navy has intercepted or discovered 33 subs since 1993.

ROLANDO AVILES/AFP/Getty Images

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