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article imageSubmarine seized with eight tonnes of cocaine on board

By Tim Sandle     Jul 23, 2015 in Crime
The U.S. Navy has intercepted a submarine off the coast of El Salvador. The vessel was found to be carrying around eight tonnes of cocaine.
The captured vessel, described in The Guardian, as "submarine like", was commandeered on Saturday July 18. The vessel was cornered by a collaborative effort between the U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection and Coast Guard.
The semi-submersible vessel was spotted by U.S. aircraft. The information was relayed to coastal officials, who intercepted the vessel as it attempted to reach a port in El Salvador. U.S. authorities have been working with the government of El Salvador, along with other countries in the area, in order to crack down on drugs smuggling.
On boarding the craft, authorities discovered 274 bales. Each bale was packed full with 16,870 pounds ( 7,650 Kilos) of high-grade cocaine with a street value of several hundreds of millions of dollars. The vessel's crew of four were captured and they are currently in custody for questioning. No charges have yet been announced.
Director of National Air Security Operations Center, Robert Blanchard, told The Washington Times: "Our extremely efficient and experienced aircrews are fully engaged in protecting the United States’ maritime borders from all threats including those posed by drug trafficking organizations."
The type of vessel — a semi-submersible craft — is popular with smugglers because it is not easy to detect by aircraft. This type of activity, according to The Independent, has been rising since 2010. The newspaper reports that Spanish authorities recently seized 200 Kilos of cocaine. The narcotic was found inside hollowed out pineapples, contained inside the hull of a boat that had travelled from Central America.
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