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Jul-06-2010 22:44printcomments

DEA Intel Aids In Seizure of Fully-Operational Narco Submarine In Ecuador

DEA photo of drug submarine in Ecuador
DEA photos of drug submarine in Ecuador

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - On July 2, Ecuador Anti-Narcotics Police Forces and Ecuador Military authorities with the assistance of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), seized what they describe as a fully-operational submarine.

Agents with the DEA say it was built for the primary purpose of transporting multi-ton quantities of cocaine.

The investigation of the captured submarine and the individuals responsible for its construction is ongoing, according to a news release.

One individual has been taken into custody by Ecuadorian authorities at the site of the seizure.

The twin-screw, diesel electric-powered submarine is about 30 meters long and about nine feet high from the deck plates to the ceiling.

The sophisticated vessel also has a conning tower, periscope and air conditioning system.

DEA Andean Regional Director Jay Bergman stated: “Traffickers historically employed slow moving fishing boats, sail boats, pleasure craft and subsequently go-fasts. Eventually, when speed no longer won the day, traffickers to avoid detection, turned to parasitic devices on the bottom of ship hulls, towed array devices and ultimately low profile vessels and semi-submersible boats. The advent of the narco-submarine presents new detection challenges for maritime interdiction forces. The submarine’s nautical range, payload capacity and quantum leap in stealth have raised the stakes for the counter-drug forces and the national security community alike.”

No other information was available, but the photos tell quite a story by themselves. Naval style vessels including submarines have been used and also confiscated several times over the years.

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