Video: Colombian Navy Seizes 1.8 Tonnes of Cocaine From Narco-Sub

Narco-sub sinking
Image courtesy Colombian Navy

Published Nov 18, 2023 3:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Colombian Navy has busted another large narco-trafficking semisubmersible off the nation's Pacific coast, seizing nearly 1,900 kilos of cocaine. 

The vessel was under way with a consignment of drugs for transshipment through the Central American route when it was spotted by Colombian Coast Guard units. The personnel searched the vessel and found 94 bales of drugs inside. The contents tested positive for cocaine, which is worth its weight in platinum at current Western wholesale pricing. The 1,885 kilos of cocaine recovered from the vessel would be valued at approximately $60 million if delivered to European dealers. It also would have supplied 4.7 million doses to consumers.

Three crewmembers from the narco-sub, one Colombian and two Ecuadorian nationals, were detained and transferred to a Colombian Navy ship. The narco-trafficking vessel sank at the site due to rough surface conditions, the service said. 

The suspect vessel's crew and cargo onshore at Tumaco (Colombian Navy)

In October, the service seized another semisub carrying 3.3 tonnes of cocaine off the coast of Tumaco, a remote port near the Ecuadorian border. During this earlier interdiction, the suspect boat filled with "excessive toxic smoke," and the boarding team pulled the occupants to safety, the service said. Once it was secure, the team extracted about 200 bundles of drugs and apprehended three suspects.

The service has now seized more than 32 tonnes of cocaine and more than 20 vessels over the span of 2023, contributing to the nation's overall anti-trafficking effort. Thanks to a recent uptick in production, Colombia seizes about 800 tonnes of cocaine a year, more than any other nation.