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Specially designed submersibles smuggle cocaine

By Bob Ewing     Jun 7, 2009 in Crime
U.S. law enforcement officials say that more than a third of the cocaine smuggled into the United States from Colombia travels in submersibles.
The subs that are being used to transport cocaine were considered experimental just two years ago; however, now they are state of the art vehicles for the drug trade. reports say there is a remote controlled version in development.
"That means no crew. That means just cocaine, or whatever, inside the boat," said Michael Braun, a former chief of operations at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Powered by diesel engines and made from fibreglass, the vehicles are being made in clandestine shipyards in the Colombian jungle.
Rack of the vessels allegedly has a potential cargo capacity of 380 tons of cocaine, worth billions of dollars in the United States. and U.S. officials expect 70 or more to be launched this year with a p
"This is definitely the next generation of smuggling conveyance," said Joseph Ruddy, an assistant U.S. attorney in Tampa who prosecutes narco-mariners.
The submersibles are difficylt to detect a even though U.S. forces use state-of-the-art submarine warfare strategies against them. Authorities say most slip through their net.
"You try finding a floating log in the middle of the Pacific," one DEA agent said.
The subs do not fully submerge but skim the sea surface. They travel by night and spend the day
. Once the cargo is unloaded the subs do not make a return voyage but are sunk.
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