$103 million. This is the amount that the drug traffickers on board would have lost of the largest submarine intercepted by the Colombian Navy Of the history. Measuring more than 30 m long and three meters wide, it was carrying nearly 3 tons of cocaine.
The semi-submersible was stopped on Tuesday as it headed for Central America, one of the busiest routes for illegal trafficking to the United States. Images released by authorities showed the long boat on the watersas well as its merchandise landed ashore, hundreds of packages of narcotics labeled “Toyota” – traffickers like to give a signature, often chosen from among the major world brands, to their deliveries – and, in the middle, three captured men.
It is the largest semi-submersible identified since the beginning of this type of seizure in 1993, in the country the largest producer of cocaine in the world. In three decades, the Navy has seized 228 ships of this type, which leave loaded with tons of from the Pacific Ocean to the United States or even cross the Atlantic to Europe.
14 year prison sentences
The three Colombian suspects arrested during this latest seizure claimed to have been “forced by an organization of drug traffickers to board and drive the semi-submersible with the alkaloid to Central America”. The three men, aged 63, 54 and 45, were taken to Tumaco (south) to be brought to justice.
Manufactured clandestinely, these boats, both rustic and light, move near the surface of the water, cover longer distances than the speedboats of the authorities and are difficult to spot. Colombian legislation punishes the use, construction, marketing, possession and transport of semi-submersibles to prison terms of up to 14 years.
After half a century of war on financed and supported by the United States, Colombia continues to reach record levels of cocaine production. In 2021, the cultivation of coca, from which the drug is extractedcovered more than 204,000 ha, and the production of cocaine hydrochloride amounted to 1,400 tons, according to the UN.