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"Narco sub" seized off Colombia as crew tries in vain to sink 5,300 pounds of cocaine

Largest-ever "narco sub" found off Colombia
Largest-ever "narco sub" intercepted off Colombia 00:45

A semi-submersible vessel carrying over 5,000 pounds of cocaine was intercepted in the South Pacific off the coast of Colombia as the crew unsuccessfully tried to sink the cargo of drugs, the country's navy announced Wednesday. The news comes about two weeks after the largest so-called "narco sub" ever recorded in Colombia was intercepted with 3 tons of cocaine on board.

Three men were aboard the 55-foot semi-submersible when it was detected by units of the Colombian navy, officials said in a news release. The navy said in a statement that the vessel was carrying about 5,300 pounds of cocaine worth about $81 million and was bound to Central America. 

Officials said that after the crew noticed the Colombian navy approaching, they tried to open valves and sink the vessel along with its drug-laden cargo. However, military personnel thwarted the effort, recovering the ship and cargo, while rescuing the three men on board.

A semi-submersible vessel carrying over 5,000 pounds of cocaine was intercepted in the South Pacific off the coast of Colombia Colombia Navy

Military officials found 125 black packages inside the vessels, and later testing confirmed there were about 5,300 pounds of cocaine.

The three men were arrested and face charges that could send them to prison for up to 14 years.

The Navy said this was the third semi-submersible intercepted in less than three weeks, with drugs totaling more than $200 million. So far in 2023, the Colombian Navy has stopped 13 "narco subs" from reaching their intended destinations, officials said.

In March, officials seized a narco sub carrying two dead bodies and a huge haul of drugs in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Colombia. About a week later, a semi-submersible vessel carrying nearly 1,000 packages of cocaine was intercepted in the same region. 

"Narco subs" are commonly used by traffickers in Central and South America to transport drugs. The vessels move 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.

Colombian authorities find 2 bodies, 3 tons of cocaine on submarine 00:42
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