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First "narco sub" of 2024 seized off Colombia loaded with 1,750 pounds of cocaine, drugs with scorpion logos

Combating narco-subs and trafficking
Combating narco-subs and narco-terrorism in the U.S. and abroad 04:35

The Colombian Navy seized a semi-submersible loaded with more than 1,000 pounds of cocaine in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, marking the first interception of a so-called "narco sub" of 2024, officials said in a news release. The 50-foot-long semi-submersible was apparently bound for Central America when officers intercepted and boarded the vessel, authorities said.

The navy released a video of the seizure operation showing an officer cut open packages and test the contents in a vial. Many of the parcels appeared to feature an insignia of a scorpion while others were marked "Winnie" and "Carnal."

Three people manning the semi-submersible were arrested and the suspects and the drugs were transported to the Colombian port city of Buenaventura. Authorities did not release any information about the suspects.

Officials located dozens of packages hidden inside different compartments of the vessel, and tests eventually showed that there had been some 795 kilograms (about 1,753 pounds) of cocaine on board — enough of the drug for about two million individual doses, with an estimated value of about $27 million, officials said.

Many of the parcels appeared to feature an insignia of a scorpion while others were marked "Winnie" and "Carnal." Colombia Navy

The semi-submersibles or "narco subs" are popular among drug traffickers as they can potentially elude detection by the coast guard or other authorities. They vessels never go fully underwater, and they have been intercepted in Colombian waters and while heading to the United States or Europe.  

The Colombian Navy said it intercepted a total of 20 semi-submersibles in 2023, leading to the seizure of 30 tons of cocaine and more than five tons of marijuana. 

In May 2023, the largest "narco sub" ever recorded in Colombia was intercepted with three tons of cocaine on board. About two months before that, officials seized a semi-submersible carrying two dead bodies and a massive haul of drugs off the coast of Colombia.

In a statement Sunday, the navy said it would "continue to deploy all its logistical and operational capabilities to counter the scourge of drug trafficking structures that commit crimes in the Colombian Pacific."

The Colombian navy seized a semi-submersible loaded with 1,750 tons of cocaine in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, officials said.  Colombia Navy
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