A Submarine carrying cocaine worth $100 million was caught by police officials off the northwestern region of Galicia, Spain. According to reports, the 65-foot submarine is said to be the first that has caught in Europe. Authorities were able to assess the amount and worth of the drugs three days after managing to refloat the submarine and taking it to a port.
In a statement released by the Spanish police, the authorities started their investigation after being tipped off that a submarine carrying cocaine was on its way to Spain. 152 packages containing approximately 3 tonnes of cocaine was recovered from the vessel. According to the authorities, the seized submarine had the capacity to carry up to 5 tonnes of cocaine.
The police stated that mostly Colombian drug trafficker has been caught using submarines trying to smuggle cocaine into Mexico and the United States of America and added that it was for the first time they had encountered such an incident in Europe. However, police were still trying to pinpoint the origin of the vessel with a hunch that it came from South America.
The police officials were tipped off by the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre, Lisbon, an international agency set up by several European Union states to have coordinated actions to tackle drug trafficking.
Cartel expert, Robert J Bunker, said drug cartels began started using submarines to transport drugs in 2005 and added these drug-carrying vessels are usually built-in isolated river inlets in Colombia, Guyana and Ecuador for about a million dollars. He further added that cartels have built approximately 1,000 submarines to carry drugs.
It is said that the Atlantic coast of Galicia has hundred of hidden coves, inlets and isolated beaches that have acted as a passage for illegally carrying narcotics into Spain and Europe. According to reports, a group of Galician women in the 1980s brought the issue of smuggling of drugs to the attention of everyone by protesting outside the houses of drug barons.
(With inputs from agencies)