The Colombian National Police and Colombian National Navy collaborated recently to seize the semi-submersible and its contents 46 miles from the southwestern Colombian city of Tumaco, according to Seguimiento. They also arrested three crew members.
In a photo published by the outlet, the craft can be seen to sit just a few feet above the water’s surface and is painted a teal color, to help mask it from detection. It is reportedly capable of carrying as much as 3 tons of cargo, but was discovered with just 1,055 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride on board.
Meanwhile in #colombia— National Security News (@Natsecuritynews) August 26, 2020
Colombian anti-drug police have seized a semi-submersible narco-submarine they say belongs to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and was headed to Mexico.
On board was more than a tonne of cocaine valued at US $18.6 million, officials in Bogotá pic.twitter.com/RNAk9PhBiL
The cargo was valued at 6.2 billion Colombian pesos, but would reportedly fetch $18.6 million once in Mexico. According to Mexico News Daily, the craft was bound for Costa Careyes, in Mexico’s Jalisco state, and would have made the 2,150-mile trip by early September.
Seguimiento reported the National Police had determined via their “Operation Triton” anti-narcotics campaign that the shipment belonged to the Residual Organized Armed Group (Gaor) E-30, a group that operates in the coastal Nariño state and is responsible for numerous homicides, and was intended to arrive in the hands of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel in Mexico.
Earlier this month, Colombian authorities discovered a new, larger type of semi-submersible. According to their report, the vessel was about 30 meters long and could carry some 8 tons of cargo. However, it was destroyed where it was found, in the village of Puerto Merizalde, along the Naya River a couple of miles inland from the Pacific coast. Why smugglers would need a larger cargo capacity is unclear since, as Forbes noted, cocaine shipments seized by authorities in recent years have been getting smaller, averaging at 1.6 tons each.