The Colombian authorities have seized this handmade narco submarine which was carrying a tonne of cocaine worth more than 26 million GBP for one of Mexico’s most dangerous cartels.
The submarine was seized in a joint operation between the Colombian police and navy off the coast of the south-western department of Narino on Sunday.
Three arrests were made and Saray Ramirez, spokeswoman at the national police’s anti-drug unit told Real Press “the three men are of Ecuadorian nationality and are aged 24 (two of them) and 34” but their names have not been revealed.
Ms Ramirez also confirmed that the cocaine was set to be sold to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), one of Mexico’s most important and dangerous cartels.
The anti-drug unit said in a press release obtained by Real Press that the narco submarine with 1,033 kilogrammes (2,277 lbs) of cocaine was being sent to Mexico’s Pacific coast.
The submarine was seized around 47 miles from the port of Tumaco on the Colombian Pacific as it was moving at high speed.
The officers boarded the vessel and found 26 sacks containing 1,030 packs of cocaine that is worth around 35 million USD (26,646,987 GBP) on the international illegal market.
The authorities said in the statement that drug production in the Narino department in Colombia had previously been carried out with negotiations with the Sinaloa Cartel, formerly led by drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, but this had now changed to the CJNG.
The drug was reportedly produced and trafficked by E-30, an Organised Residual Armed Group (GAOR), a title given to dissident groups of the FARC guerrillas who fought the Colombian Army for decades until a peace agreement in 2016.
The anti-drug unit also said the submarine itself could be worth around 1.2 million USD (913,611 GBP) and was able to carry up to three tonnes of cocaine. It was fitted with a satellite system that would have helped it reach its destination in September.
The authorities said a Colombian woman known as ‘Dama del Pacific’ (Lady Pacific) or ‘Senora Cero’ (Madam Zero) had played a game of cards against two other gangs named ‘Los Silverios’ and ‘Los Lobos’ to decide who would have control of drug production in the area.
Lady Pacific, who is from the department of Valle del Cauca, reportedly won the card game and decided to send the drugs to the CJNG in Mexico.
Ms Ramirez told Real Press that the female gang boss is the head of the drug operation and “she uses what is called “narcos invisibles” (invisible drug traffickers) who are people financing the drug trafficking but whose identity have not been discovered”.
She added: “Those invisible narcos contact criminal gangs in the area in order to carry out the production and the trafficking, in this case with the GAOR E-30”.
Ms Ramirez said that Lady Pacific does not exactly belong to the group as “she can work with other gangs at the same time”.
Ms Ramirez added that these operations involving major drug seizures affect the financing of the “criminal gangs in those areas affected by violence”.
The authorities reported five submarines have been seized this month and the National Police said in a statement that the Navy has managed to seize more than eight tonnes of drugs in the South Pacific of Narino.
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.