Guatemalan Authorities Capture Submarine Carrying Cocaine

By Terrapinzflyer · Oct 22, 2009 · Updated Oct 22, 2009 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Guatemalan Authorities Capture Submarine Carrying Cocaine

    GUATEMALA CITY — Authorities in Guatemala say they have captured a mini submarine carrying an undetermined amount of cocaine off the country's Pacific coast.

    The vessel and its crew have been taken to the Guatemalan port of San Jose.

    Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Byron Gutierrez said Thursday the vessel was detected by Guatemalan personnel operating jointly with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

    Several men were captured inside the sub Wednesday about 200 miles off the coast, but Gutierrez offered no further details.

    Traffickers use such subs to move multi-ton loads of cocaine to Mexico and Central America. The vessels are believed to carry nearly a third of U.S.-bound cocaine northward through the Pacific.

    Thurday October 22 2009
    Associated Press (AP),2933,569177,00.html


    Comment: Not sure if they were considered to be in "International waters" but had run across this addition to US Federal law recently:

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    10 Tonnes Of Cocaine Found In Submarine Off Guatemala

    GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - U.S. and Guatemalan authorities captured a makeshift submarine loaded with an estimated 10 tonnes of cocaine in the Pacific Ocean off Guatemala, Guatemalan police said on Thursday.

    Four men aboard the vessel -- three Colombians and a Mexican -- were arrested when it was detained Wednesday night by U.S. anti-drug agents and the Guatemalan Coast Guard some 175 miles (282 km) off Guatemala's Pacific Coast.

    If the size of the seizure is confirmed, it would be the largest ever drug bust in Guatemala, which is becoming an important transit point for illegal drugs moved north by powerful Mexican trafficking cartels.

    Drug gangs operate with impunity in the jungles of northern Guatemala, where they receive shipments of South American cocaine and ship them across the border into Mexico.

    Mexico's drug cartels have been moving into neighbouring Guatemala as they seek to secure supply lines amid a brutal struggle for territory in Mexico that has claimed some 14,500 lives in the nearly three years since President Felipe Calderon came to power and launched an army crackdown.

    Anti-drug patrols in the waters around Central America have turned up at least two other large submarine-like vessels that can be as much as 59-feet (18 meters) long and carry sophisticated navigation equipment. The steel-and-fiberglass vessels run partially submerged in an attempt to evade radar.

    (Reporting by Herbert Hernandez)

    Comment: I'm guessing thats metric tons, but it is not specified. Either way- a bloody lot of cocaine.
  2. Guttz
    Some updates from CNN

    Cocaine seized on submarine near Guatemala
    Posted: 09:07 PM ET

    GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (CNN) - Guatemalan authorities, together with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, captured a makeshift submarine carrying thousands of kilos of cocaine, a government official said Thursday.

    The amount of cocaine on the ship was unconfirmed, but local reports estimated the illicit cargo at 10,000 kilograms (approximately 22,000 pounds). If so, it would be the largest drug bust by Guatemalan authorities.

    Colombian officials alerted the Guatemalans and Americans about the cocaine-laden submarine, Guatemalan Interior Minister Raul Velasquez told CNN en Español. A DEA vessel in the Pacific Ocean heading elsewhere was diverted to interdict the submarine Wednesday night. Authorities caught up to the vessel in international waters off the Guatemalan coast, authorities said.

    Three Colombians and one Mexican national onboard the submarine were arrested, Velasquez said. The names of the suspects and exact amount of cocaine were unknown because the DEA ship ran out of fuel, resulting in a delay coming in to port.

    Guatemalan officials, possibly including President Alvaro Colom, planned to meet the DEA ship and its cargo when it finally arrives Friday, Velasquez said.

    U.S. officials estimate "drug subs" now transport about one-third of all cocaine that moves by sea from South America to the United States. The makeshift vessels come in several forms and are built of fiberglass, wood and steel in the swamps along the west coast of Colombia, under the cover of heavy foliage, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

    –Journalist Alexia Rios contributed to this report for CNN.
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