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Sub for Drug Smugglers

      9/19/2000

Sub for Drug Smugglers

By land, by air, by sea -- and perhaps now under the sea -- drug smugglers are becoming ever more innovative in their efforts to outwit authorities and get their cargo across the sea. Drug agents were astounded to discover a sophisticated submarine under construction in a cow pasture outside the capital -- 7,500 feet high in the Andes Mountains and 210 miles from any port.

Allegedly designed for 200-ton cocaine cargoes, it was being built for the sole purpose of transporting cocaine. The 100-foot submarine could have crossed an ocean, surfaced off Miami or other coastal cities and surreptitiously unloaded tons of cargo. Suspicious residents, who said Americans were in the area, tipped off police. Blueprints at the warehouse indicated Russians might have been involved as well, authorities said. Although smugglers have built tiny fiberglass "submersibles" to ferry drugs in the past, they were nothing compared with the submarine, which was more than 11 feet in diameter. Navy Capt. Fidel Azula, a former submarine captain, said even the Colombian navy lacked the knowledge to build such a vessel. "This is unmistakably of superb naval construction," he said.


Drug-Smuggling Submarine Discovered, Sept. 8, 2000  







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