27 November 2019 10:36
Spanish police have begun to lift a transatlantic drug-smuggling submarine thought to be carrying up to £300 million worth of cocaine on to a quayside in northwest Spain. The so-called narco-sub, which appears to have been scuttled by its crew as police prepared to intercept it, was refloated yesterday and towed six miles into the small harbour of Aldan in Pontevedra, Galicia. Hundreds of onlookers gathered to watch as masked anti-narcotics officers prepared to investigate the boat, which is believed to have sailed from Colombia and is the first of its type to be seized in Europe. Spain refloats submarine intercepted with suspected cocaine on board 0 SHARES Share it! MADRID – Spanish police on Tuesday refloated a submarine that was intercepted with a cargo suspected to be about 3,500 kg (3.85 tons) of cocaine, a security source told Reuters.
Two Ecuador nationals were detained and another person escaped from the vessel in waters off the northwestern region of Galicia at the weekend, the source said. Investigators believe that the crew had attempted to sink the submarine and the drugs it had on board. Authorities could neither confirm the origin of the drug nor the intended recipient in Spain, the source said. MADRID — Spanish police Tuesday managed to tow a sunken submarine believed to be carrying tons of cocaine into a northwestern port and began preparations to extract its cargo. Police were hoping to crane-lift the 65-foot submarine onto the dock at Port of Aldán so that they could get inside more easily, an official from the government's office in the province of Pontevedra said.
Two Ecuador members of the three-person crew were arrested by police after they scuttled the vessel. The submarine was tracked while it sailed across the Atlantic from Colombia to Europe - a journey of 7,690 kilometers or 4,778 nautical miles. The sophistication of the 65-foot vessel has caught authorities off-guard, as South American drug cartels employ increasingly brazen methods of delivering their merchandise across the globe. Spanish civil guard tow a sunken submarine believed to be carrying tons of cocaine in Aldán harbor in northwest Spain. Authorities intercepted the vessel Sunday and arrested two men from Ecuador.
The crew abandoned the submarine, which was built in Guyana and Suriname, in the Aldán inlet off the province of Pontevedra. The official couldn't say from which country the submarine had departed from, but media reports said police suspected it to have set off from Colombia. Media reports said the vessel could be carrying three metric tons, but the official said this couldn't be confirmed yet. The Lisbon-based Maritime Analysis and Operation Center, which tracks the nautical transportation of narcotics, teamed with law enforcement agencies in Portugal and Spain to trace the submarine Spanish police were alerted of the vessel's route after its stopped in Portugal and intercepted in the northwestern region of Galicia Spanish Civil Guard divers stand over the confiscated submarine as the police attempted to place the vessel on a port ramp Tuesday before it cables attached to were ripped off due to bad weather, causing the 'narco-sub' to sink Spanish authorities learned of the submarine's route after they were alerted by their Portuguese counterparts Friday Authorities found that the submarine was built in Guyana and Suriname before it departed from Colombia As far back as October, chatter from inside a prison in Spain spread rumors that a drug lord in Galicia was working on a 3,000 kilo shipment of cocaine, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais In 2006, authorities found an abandoned homemade submarine in Vigo and later arrested six suspects, who were each sentenced to two years in prison for attempting to traffic cocaine. In September, United States Coast Guard seized a 'narco-sub' transporting 12,000 pounds of cocaine valued over $165 million. Spain's Civil Guard have released pictures of the submarine used to smuggle cocaine into the country, and confirmed two Ecuadorian men were arrested during the operation. Spanish police have seized a so-called 'narco-sub', a submarine used by drug smugglers to move large quantities of illegal drugs without being detected, which is thought to be the first time such an operation has been caught in Europe. It was said to be carrying 3,000kgs of cocaine, according to a police source cited by Spanish newspaper El Pais. The 22-meter long vessel is reported to have made the journey across the Atlantic from Colombia. Two Ecuadorian men were arrested, but it is thought a third suspect escaped the police action. Galicia has a long history of smuggling operations, and Spanish police said the drug smugglers in the area have strong links to Colombia, where much of the world's supply of cocaine is produced.