07:06 GMT18 September 2020
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    The Colombian National Police announced on Monday they had seized more than a metric ton of cocaine from a semi-submersible vessel on its way to Mexico.

    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.

    ​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.


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    Mexico, Colombia, drug smugglers, cocaine, submersible
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