100-foot cocaine-smuggling submarine

February 15, 2011

I’ve read about simple “submarines” for smuggling drugs that don’t fully submerge, but simply keep a small dome or port above the surface so the single pilot can see where he’s going.

But this is a different story.  Now mind you, it could be BS that it can fully submerge, but it IS sophisticated in that it uses a camera to see above the surface, which you can see in the pictures at the very top of the sub, under the transparent dome-looking thing at the top of the sail.

It’s allegedly built to move seven tons of cocaine to Mexico.  Not Texas or Flodia, but Mexico, because obviously our southern neighbor is a near-perfect superconductor of contraband.

At $15,000/kilogram wholesale, seven tons of pure cocaine is $100M.  If the sub cost 4000 million pesos like the news article says then that’s only $2M, or just 2% overhead if the sub never returns for a second load.  This obviously explains the reason for building a submarine in the first place, because it’s so dingdang efficient! Cube-square law strikes again!

I see this thing as the output sum of the following factors:

  • prohibition (secrecy)
  • abundant cash (see “prohibition” above)
  • internet (searching and encrypted communication)
  • jet aircraft (the easy movement of skilled people)

Here’s the Spanish news article, translated into English.  Note how it says that they found the submarine by tracing the technological bits and pieces used in it.  They didn’t find a submarine — they found the few special bits that had to come from outside Colombia:

The ship capable of carrying seven tons of cocaine was found in Timbiqui.

Men of the Pacific Naval Force, with support from the Colombian Air Force and members of CTI, came to one of the streams in a rural area of the town and met with the submersible measuring over 30 meters long.

Caught the attention of the authorities the technology used in the manufacture of this device, which allows you to browse completely submerged makes it virtually undetectable.

This submersible has advanced technology first seen in the country and its construction would have cost more than 4,000 million pesos to drug gangs, said the Navy in the Pacific.

In the same area were found a kitchen and precursors for the production of illicit substances, and two rifles, ammunition of different caliber and communications equipment.

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