US Coast Guard seizes US$181 mil. of co­caine from sub­ma­rine-like craft

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The U.S. Coast Guard said it has seized US$181 mil­lion worth of co­caine from a sub­marine­like ves­sel in the eastern Pa­cific Ocean, but even more drugs sank dur­ing the bust.

The Coast Guard seized 5,400 kilo­grams of co­caine from four smug­glers on a semi-sub­mersible ship, the agency said Wed­nes­day.

The ves­sel, which was first spot­ted about 320 kilo­me­ters (200 miles) south of Mexico, was car­ry­ing a to­tal of 7,200 kilo­grams of nar­cotics, but as the ship was be­ing towed, it took on wa­ter and sank. Some 1,800 kilo­grams of nar­cotics were lost in the process.

The seizure, which took place on July 18, was the “largest recorded semi-sub­mersible in­ter­dic­tion in Coast Guard history,” ac­cord­ing to the agency.

The 12- me­ter ves­sel was deemed “un­re­cov­er­able” af­ter it sank.

The Coast Guard said there have been 25 known in­ter­dic­tions of semi-sub­mersible ves­sels in the eastern Pa­cific Ocean since Novem­ber 2006.

“Ev­ery in­ter­cep­tion of these semi- sub­mersibles disrupts transna­tional or­ga­nized crime net­works and helps in­crease se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity in the Western Hemi­sphere,” Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray, com­man­der of the Pa­cific area, said in a state­ment.

Semi- sub­mersible ships are de­signed for drug traf­fick­ing, and be­cause they are mostly sub­merged — of­ten with only a cock­pit and ex­haust pipe vis­i­ble above wa­ter — they are par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult to de­tect and in­ter­dict, the Coast Guard said.


Vil­lagers try to stop cows from walk­ing too far up a slope of a moun­tain with the in­ten­tion of send­ing them back down to­ward the town of Ar­guedas, north­ern Spain, Thurs­day, Aug. 6. The tra­di­tional run dur­ing the lo­cal fi­es­tas is in honor of the pa­tron saint Este­ban.

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