Monday, August 13, 2012

$180 million cocaine submarine

$180 million cocaine submarine, $180million cocaine haul confiscated from submarine bound for Florida, FBI divers have recovered cocaine with a street value of $180million from a drugs smuggling submarine scuttled in the Caribbean Sea.
The audacious seabed operation is believed to be the first time that the U.S. government has been able to capture a submersible used for trafficking complete with its cargo.

A crew aboard a U.S. Customs patrol flight spotted the 100ft vessel in the western Caribbean speeding towards the Florida coastline.They alerted the nearby Coast Guard cutter USS Seneca, which gave chase and stopped the submarine, shown on a dramatic video released by the Coast Guard today (Mon). The drugs gang then scuttled it in an attempt to prevent the American authorities recovering the drugs on board.
But in a joint operation with the Honduran navy, another Coast Guard vessel, the USS Oak, joined the search for the sunken sub using sonar and teams of divers, and located it 13 days later at the bottom of the Caribbean.Members of the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team from Quantico, Virginia, were able to bring to the surface nearly 15,000 pounds (6,800kg) of cocaine from the sub, the first time contraband has recovered from under the water.
'The technical expertise of the dive team was instrumental in the success of this unique operation in international waters, far from US shores, that ultimately prevented tons of cocaine from reaching our streets and neighbourhoods,' said Capt Brendan McPherson, chief of enforcement of the Seventh Coast Guard District, based in Miami.Officials hope the operation marks a turning point in the ongoing war against South American drugs cartels, which have turned increasingly to building small and speedy submarines to evade capture.
The vessels, known as Narco-subs, can carry a crew of up to five and are constructed deep in the FARC-controlled jungles of Colombia. They account for up to a third of the drugs smuggled to the US from the region, authorities say.
The submarines are designed to be quickly scuttled by their operators in the event they are halted, to make recovery of its cargo as difficult as possible. Each sub can carry up to 10 metric tons of drugs for up to 5,000 miles in a single journey.Lt Cmdr Peter Niles, commander of the USS Oak, said: 'Working on a buoy deck is dangerous enough but this unique mission involved blending dive operations, boat operations, and deck operations at the same time.
'The equipment the FBI brought to the Oak and their dive teams were essential to locate the submarine and recover its cargo.'
The five men arrested on the sub when it was captured last month (July) are now in custody while the cocaine recovered will be turned over to other US law enforcement agencies for destruction

$180 million cocaine submarine Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn


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