A 50-foot-long “ghost” submarine was found floating and seized in the Pacific Ocean off Columbia. Investigators couldn’t believe what they found inside.
Floating “ghost” submarine found in Pacific Ocean harboring valuable secret
A 50-foot-long homemade submarine was found floating in the Pacific Ocean off Columbia like a “ghost ship.”
Colombian Marines pulled alongside the ship, and when they boarded the stranded vessel, they uncovered a literal wealth of secrets.
The Marines immediately discovered two dead bodies, as well as two other men who were alive but “in poor health,” CBS News reported.
“These people’s poor health state is presumably due to the inhalation of toxic fumes caused by fuel problems inside the boat,” said Colombian Navy Captain Cristian Andres Guzman Echeverry.
Massive secret stash worth $87 million
But the biggest secret of all that the submarine was hiding was almost 5,800 pounds of cocaine, roughly 3 tons, with a value of more than $87 million, officials said, Yahoo! News reported.
The Colombian Navy said the vessel had likely been bound for countries in Central America. The area where the submarine was found was in an important corridor for transporting cocaine north toward the United States, Vice reported.
Drug traffickers becoming more sophisticated
So-called “narco subs” like this latest vessel discovery are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Submarines, due to their submersible nature, are more difficult for radar systems to detect. The use of submarines is becoming a popular method for Colombian drug traffickers to move cocaine to partners in Central America and Mexico, Vice reported.
A 2016 analysis determined fully submersible submarines were being constructed in remote areas of the jungle with the ability to transport over 10 tons of drugs, the New York Post reported.
Using boats and/or their parts, cartel operatives waterproof them and install engines inside. Further, criminal organizations are nurturing those who possess the skill sets to build such vessels.
Last year, authorities arrested Colombian Óscar Moreno Ricardo, who had served as a sophisticated builder of narco submarines for Latin America’s powerful drug cartels. The bust brought an end to a two-decade career of helping traffickers facilitate drug smuggling into the United States.
However, there are clearly others with the expertise to build such vessels, as narco submarines in the waters off the coast of Central America and Mexico continue to proliferate.