Mellow Submarine... Not! Sub Smugglers busted with $352M in cocaine
A whole other kind of narcotic than the Beatles had imagined I'm sure.
Sub carried $440m of cocaine
August 23, 2007 07:54am
A SUBMARINE carrying cocaine worth an estimated $US352 million ($440 million) was intercepted by US authorities off the coast of Central America.
US Customs and Border Protection said the semi-submersible vessel - which is only partially visible from the surface - was spotted by a surveillance plane some 482km southwest of the Mexico-Guatemala border on Tuesday.
The plane then guided a US Navy ship to the scene as the four suspected drug smugglers scuttled the vessel along with the bulk of its cargo, believed to be around five metric tons (5000kg) of cocaine.
The suspects and 11 bales of cocaine weighing around 548kg were eventually recovered from the scene.
US Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel said that cases of smugglers using semi-submersible craft were rare.
"There have been recorded cases involving these sorts of vessels but they are extremely rare," Mr Friel said.
"It indicates the sophisticated methods smugglers use to try and avoid detection."
In March, US authorities announced what was believed to be a record seizure of cocaine worth around $US600 million ($750 million) off the coast of Panama.