20 mini subs move 9,000 pounds of coke each

Eight people were arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs into Galicia, although their home made invention was quite different than all other methods used. A home made submarine was used to smuggle drugs from ships at sea into the Galician coast line. The submarine was found by a Guardia Civil patrol. It had been abandoned in the Ría de Vigo with 4,400 litres of fuel in its tanks. The submarine was handmade and measured 11 metres long by two metres wide, with space for a 2 man crew. The vessel had three propellers and three motors, two of them electric, and was equipped with electronic communications equipment. There was also a sail so that the submarine could travel on the surface without using its engines. The arrests were made in Galicia, Madrid and Cataluña as well as in Estepona and La Línea. National Police officials said ample documentation related to the construction and operation of the submarine was found at the individuals’ homes. Investigations led to the arrests of the seven Spaniards and one Venezuelan
Drug traffickers are using a fleet of as many as 20 mini subs to move huge quantities of cocaine through the Caribbean, federal law enforcement and Coast Guard.
The cocaine vessels are often harder to detect than Russian submarines because of the way they skim the surface, officials say.
"The Russian submarine has a certain signal you can listen to underwater," said Coast Guard Adm. Joseph L. Nimmich, director of Joint Interagency Task Force South, based in Key West, Fla.The cocaine vessels give "very little signal," said the admiral, whose officers are testing a captured sub in order to adjust Coast Guard sensors.
In a report to be aired on "World News With Charles Gibson," officials showed off the recently captured vessel, a semi-submersible that carried 9,000 pounds of pure cocaine.
"They started out with four to five tons. The new ones are estimated to carry between 12 to 15 tons of narcotics," Adm. Nimmich said.
The vessels are able to travel up to 2,000 miles and evade U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships patrolling the waters between Colombia and the U.S. and Mexico.
U.S. officials say the cocaine trafficking groups actually assemble the vessels in the jungles of Colombia and then truck them to remote ports to be launched.

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