Sunken "narco-sub" found by fishermen in Spain days after cocaine-laden sub with dead bodies seized in Colombia
Civil Guard police in northwestern Spain this week refloated a homemade semi-submersible vessel — a so-called "narcosub" they suspect may have been used to transport cocaine. The news came just days after a submarine with two dead bodies and nearly three tons of cocaine aboard was seized off the coast of Colombia.
The 52-foot fiberglass vessel was discovered Monday sunk about half a mile off the coast in the Arousa estuary in the Ganorthwester. The bow was spotted by fishermen who had noticed a small oil spill, Reuters reported.
A Civil Guard video showed the divers inspecting the vessel and measuring it underwater and another video showed officers operating a tow boat with a crane as the submarine's bow stuck out.
It was towed to a nearby port where police said they would fully investigate it, but the national government's delegate to the local Galicia region, José Miñones, told reporters that initial checks showed there were no drugs on board.
He said police had been warned of a possible shipment of drugs arriving in Galicia.
Police said it was too early to say whether the vessel had been used to transport cocaine or where it came from. Earlier this month, the Civil Guard intercepted two sailboats loaded with more than 1,100 kilos of cocaine in waters off of the Canary Islands.
A similar vessel with three metric tons of cocaine on board was found in another northern Spanish estuary in 2019. In 2021, Spanish police seized a homemade narco-semisubmersible able to carry up to two metric tons of cargo while it was being built in Malaga, on southern Spain's Costa del Sol.
Similar drug-smuggling crafts have been discovered in the Atlantic Ocean, especially off Central and South America. They aren't very common in Europe. The vessels lie low in the water to escape detection and rarely are able to fully submerge.
The submarines sometimes make it all the way to North America. In 2019, a submarine carrying 12,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $165 million was seized by the U.S. Coast Guard.
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