IN THE SERVICE OF THE DRUG CARTELS

IN THE SERVICE OF DRUG CARTELSThe story of midget submarines began with the artisanal submarines, which can now perform almost any large engineering company – would the money from the customer. But in our time and customers a lot of money, and we are talking primarily about the smugglers and the traffickers. The one who followed world news, noted that in recent years has repeatedly documented cases of the use of midget submarines for the delivery of drugs from Latin America (primarily Colombia) to Mexico, USA and Canada.

 
The first mention of the possibility of drug trafficking dates back to the mid 1990-ies, when in the course of investigation, the U.S. detained businessman Ludwig Feinberg, who tried for one of the biggest drug lords Pablo Escobar to buy in Russia the submarine project 865. Then the deal fell through. But since Colombian police repeatedly found throughout the country, built a small submarine.
 
At first midget submarines of the dealers were relatively simple. Therefore, their price does not exceed 200 – 300 thousand dollars. With the use of modern technologies and materials much better boat can be built in 1.5-2 million dollars.
 
The submarine carries out road from Columbia to the North. At the end point of the route a few kilometers from the coast couriers meet the fast boats, which deliver goods to the shore. The submarine, as a rule, stoked, and the crew goes home. The fee for one such journey is from 30 to 100 thousand dollars. Thus a kilogram of cocaine in Colombia is about $ 2,500. But in the US and Europe sell it for 30 000.
For the first time, a makeshift submarine found not on the coast, and at sea, 100 miles off the coast of Costa Rica in 2006. Since then from year to year, despite all efforts, the authorities caught… not more than 14% of these submarines. But in the Colombian jungle every year to replace the confiscated building dozens of new ships. It takes about three months of work. It is believed that more than 30% of the cocaine trafficked from Colombia with the help of half-sunk or submarines. Law enforcement authorities believe that drug trafficking will continue to improve a similar craft.
 
Strong case and a project boat-the drug trafficker captured in Facatativa, Colombia, 2000.
 
The robust housing and the draft of the boat-the drug trafficker captured in Facatativa, Colombia, 2000.
 
Fiberglass boat, captured by police in 1994 on the coast of Tayrona national Park, Colombia, 1994.
 
Fiberglass boat, captured by police in 1994 on the coast of Tayrona national Park, Colombia, 1994
 
Fiberglass boat half-sunk, seized from the island of San Andres, Colombia, 1993
 
Fiberglass boat half-sunk, seized from the island of San Andres, Colombia, 1993
 
Half-sunk boat (according to the American classification - Bigfoot II), captured by the US coast guard, Colombia, 2008
 
Half-sunk boat (according to the American classification – Bigfoot II), captured by the US coast guard, Columbia, 2008
 
Just from 1993 to 2012, Colombian authorities seized from drug traffickers 76 submarines.
 
The number of detainees submarines allows to make some generalizations. Most boats have a small depth of immersion, generally not exceeding 4.5 meters. A semi-submersible submarines are, in this case the elevation above the water may reach 8-10 cm There is an option of a boat made from sections of pressure tanks. This boat has a collapsible design (2-3 units) and can be transported to the place of final Assembly on the truck secretly. Immersion depth up to 40 meters, which allows for the appropriate setting of the control system to mimic the behavior of whales, the migration route which passes by Colombia and California. The crew – from 2 to 4 people. Weight of transported cocaine is of the order of 3-10 tons. The power reserve is about 5 thousand km.
 
HISTORY
 
Conventionally, the story of midget submarines of the drug can be divided into three stages:
 
  • from 1992 to 2004 – the period of experimental models of unexpected decisions, loss of boats during testing, the police are not yet sure what is really possible to supply the drug under water;
  • 2005 – 2006 – captured by existing prototypes, models differ greatly from each other, but can go all the way from Colombia to the United States. Many solutions differ from the traditional patterns of military submarines;
  • 2007 – Mature projects, the boat of the drug in equipment of electronics and automation comparable to combat midget submarines, serial production with a high standardization of the elements of the project.
 
Despite the large number of publications about the success of the police intercepted the actual number of submarines is very small. Most submarines captured on the shore, not at sea. Here is a brief chronology of these victories.
 
1992 – Colombian Navy found several speed boats half-sunk and unusual apparatus “to explore the underwater world,” built of fiberglass. In this strange apparatus IMAPI holds for 1 – 1.5 tons of cargo.
 
1994 – on the coast, in the area of the Tayrona national Park (Colombia) captured the unfinished submarine with a capacity of about 1 so She could fully immerse, had a radar, depth sounder for measuring the depth, oxygen cylinders.
 
1994 year – in the city Trubo (Colombia, near the Panamanian border) police seized a half-built fiberglass machine “for exploring the underwater world”, the customer of which was the extreme left group “Revolutionary armed forces of Colombia”.
 
1995 year – unfinished submarine captured in Cartagena (Colombia), thoughtful design, similar to the military boats.
 
2000 – unfinished – but a very advanced submarine, captured in Facatativa (Central Colombia). Dvuhkonusnyj boat, with ballast and differentone tanks, diesel-electric power plant. Undoubtedly the participation in the design of European designers of underwater vehicles.
 
From 2001 to 2004 failed to capture any boats.
 
March 2005 – a small boat captured in Tumaco (Colombia). The submarine was in finalnoj phase of completion. Very little information about it in the press.
 
March 2006 – big boat captured on the river Timbo near Pitala (Colombia) as a result of operation of the 2nd marine brigade.
 
November 2006 – the U.S. coast guard captured in a sea of half-sunk boat Bigfoot-1.
 
August 2006 – Spanish police seized in Galicia submarine for transportation of drugs. The boat was built in Spain yielded Biysk study samples.
 
August 2007 — a large, but poorly equipped boat, captured in Guajara on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
 
November 2007 – a rather primitive boat, captured aventuri in Colombia. The boat is very similar to the boat of Guajara – a single engine at half-sunk condition. About every four hours the boat had to float for full ventilation.
2007 year captured by the first unmanned towed “narcotrade”.
 
2008 year – the U.S. coast guard captured in a sea of half-sunk boat Bigfoot-2 project boat Bigfoot-1).
 
June 2008 – Columbia discovered two submarines, made of fiberglass. Their length was 17 m, weight – up to 5 T. the Unfinished submarine was destroyed, and ready to sail — towed to a naval base.
 
May 2010 – half-sunk boat seized in Ecuador.
 
July 2010 – large 30-meter submarine captured in Ecuador.
 
2010 – boat to smuggle drugs captured in Spain.
 
February 2011 – Colombia’s intelligence services detected the submarine, which was named the most technically advanced of all previously discovered. The submarine had a length of 31 meters, was able to dive to 9 metres and can accommodate 4 persons. Navigation system allow to get from Colombia to Mexico. The approximate cost of the boat $ 2 million.
 
As you can see, the success is small. According to estimates, in 2007 alone, from South America towards the United States sent about 40 submarines of Cain, the volume of supply – 500 – 700 tons of cocaine per year.
 
PUT ON STREAM
 
Most popular the drug dealers use submarines with a length of up to 20 meters for up to 4-10 tons of drugs. As stated by the specialist in the fight against drug trafficking in the United States Admiral Joseph Nimmich, there is information about the presence of the drug even completely remote-controlled submarines. In the design of such boats are actively involved foreign experts from developed countries (Italy, Sweden, Russia, the Netherlands and the former Yugoslavia). The scope of the construction of midget submarines in Colombia is so great that there were reports about a possible export into Europe for drug traffickers.
 
According to unofficial statements of loss during the transportation of drugs through the guarded border using ultra-small boats are much lower than in any other way. From a legal point of view to stop the “narcocorrido” coming on the surface in international waters, is not so easy.
 
Based on unofficial sources and materials exhibited on the Internet, you can imagine and the technology to build such boats.
 
Unmanned narcocorrido seized by the police near the port of Buenaventura (Colombia on the Pacific coast. Length 7.5 m, width 1.5 m Filled with cocaine torpedo clung to the ship. In case of danger, she plunged under the water. This complicated the detection of illegal cargo
 
Unmanned narcocorrido seized by the police near the port of Buenaventura (Colombia on the Pacific coast. Length 7.5 m, width 1.5 m Filled with cocaine torpedo clung to the ship. In case of danger, she plunged under the water. This complicated the detection of illegal cargo

 
Squadron half-sunk vessels captured by Colombian police, mostly half-sunk boat type Bigfoot. The number of boats is impressive, but let's not forget that in the hands of the police gets no more than 15% underwater transporters
 
Squadron half-sunk vessels captured by Colombian police, mostly half-sunk boat type Bigfoot. The number of boats is impressive, but let’s not forget that in the hands of the police gets no more than 15% underwater conveyors
 
First of all, a search for the necessary components purchased on the commercial market, as special products are under the control of the security services. For example, home security cameras can be used for the periscope, batteries from the truck battery, automotive diesel for the power plant. Those who neglect this condition and uses parts of a real boat, usually quickly caught by the secret services.
 
Durable case often is made from ordinary pipes, which stick to the patterns manually. The individual blocks are made in some barn, away from the water. Final Assembly and first test of the housing are held in the woods near the river, under plastic or canvas shelters. A hole the right size for the preliminary test digging for assembling the boat. The descent to the sea the finished product is carried out manually. Further testing take place in the sea with the help of former sailors with experience in operating submarines.
 
In all variants the equipment of these submarines included the television periscope and navigation system. In addition, the airborne equipment may include sonar station, often modified civilian fishing, pull out the antenna of radio and space radio navigation satellite system Navstar for use at periscope depth. At the request of the client installed primitive device ensure operation of the engine under water, allowing you to charge the batteries at a depth of two to three meters.
 
There is evidence that increasing the range of possible secretive towing transport boat to the area of the destination surface vessel. While the submarine is at a submerged position, for which the boat is mounted on a special remote-controlled gripper for wire. Upon arrival of the vessel in a designated area of the ship-the tug transmits a command to the crew of the boat and produces a remote disconnection. After unloading boats may re-take it in tow back to base, if it is decided to preserve the boat for future flights.
 
Fiberglass boat, captured by police in 1994 on the coast of the Tayrona national Park (Colombia). The boat did not have ballast tanks and was built with negative buoyancy, hold, depth and ascent was carried out by a impact lead weights, a set of which was mounted in the bilge
 
Fiberglass boat, captured by police in 1994 on the coast of the Tayrona national Park (Colombia). The boat did not have ballast tanks and was built with negative buoyancy, hold, depth and ascent was carried out by a impact lead weights, a set of which was mounted in the bilge
 
One of the few submarines, captured not on the beach and in the sea, in the time of flight with drugs. This fiberglass half-sunk boat had a length of 7 m. the Crew of two persons, displacement of about 2 tons. Detained by the coast guard in 1993 at the lake San Andres in the Caribbean sea
 
One of the few submarines, captured not on the beach and in the sea, in the time of flight with drugs. This fiberglass half-sunk boat had a length of 7 m. the Crew of two persons, displacement of about 2 tons. Detained by the coast guard in 1993 at the lake San Andres in the Caribbean sea
 
This diesel submarine spotted in camouflage with a coating of Kevlar seized by Ecuadorian police on the river Gujarwal (near the border with Colombia) in July 2010.
 
This diesel submarine spotted in camouflage with a coating of Kevlar seized by Ecuadorian police on the river Gujarwal (near the border with Colombia) in July 2010.
 
Captured half-sunk ship, with the code name Bigfoot II. This is a common and relatively cheap form of ships-couriers, the price of such half-sunk
 
Captured half-sunk ship, with the code name Bigfoot II. This is a common and relatively cheap form of ships-couriers, the price of such half-sunk “boats” within 500 thousand dollars
 
Transport boats are equipped with load space, the net volume of which varies from six to ten cubic meters. Not excluded and an outer location of the cargo modules, which simplifies the delivery and receipt of cargo. A boat, usually one person. To ensure a three-shift watch during the long transition its crew could be three or four people. Severability of provisions and life support systems for the team this number comes to 20 days.
 
As the main power plant used electric engines or conventional diesel-electric plant consisting of diesel-generators (capacity of about 100 kW) and the motor (capacity 40 -60 HP). The supply of diesel fuel is six to ten tons, which provides a cruising range under snorkeler or on the surface up to 2000 miles, and the battery is guaranteed for 10-15 hours of underwater travel.
The design of monohull boats of drug dealers, without watertight bulkheads in the bow and stern can be main ballast tanks. Sometimes the purpose of transporting the hull of the boat is performed dismountable into a number of separate modules, allowing you to carry them in two to three standard 30-ton containers of class IA.
 
Under the given description, for example, a fully fit two submarines of the drug seized in Columbia in October 2007. One submarine was ready to sail, the other was in the process of construction at the shipyard near the port of Buenaventura on the Pacific coast.
 
In the communique a press-services of the Navy it is noted that both vessels belong to the extreme left papirovka “Revolutionary armed forces of Colombia” (FARC), it controls and the Wharf in Buenaventura.
 
Ready to sail the vessel is able to carry up to 5 tons of drugs. Unfinished the submarine could take on Board more than 10 people.
 
The relative size of midget submarines of the Colombian and Ecuadorian drug traffickers
 
The relative size of midget submarines of the Colombian and Ecuadorian drug traffickers
 
The submarine Colombian drug traffickers, captured February 14, 2011 near Timbuku of the Department of Cauca (Pacific coast of Colombia). A similar boat was found before, but never this big. The length of this submarine - 30 meters, and it can dive under the water to 9 meters
 
The submarine Colombian drug traffickers, captured February 14, 2011 near Timbuku of the Department of Cauca (Pacific coast of Colombia). A similar boat was found before, but never this big. The length of this submarine – 30 meters, and it can dive under the water to 9 meters
 
14 Feb 2011 the Colombian military have sacrificed holiday and covered underground shipyard in the riverbed in the southwest of Colombia, Pai did have a new submarine for transportation of drugs. Boat length 31 meters width – 3 meters. The submarine can dive to a depth of 9 meters, to escape from being detected by the coastal patrols.
 
When she was found, people on the ship were not. But this is the most modern ship of the drug from those that have seen the Colombian military. Cocaine submarine can carry a crew of 4 people and up to 8 tons of drugs. The cost of building such a submarine, according to experts, not less than $ 2 million.
 
Another fact. In 2011 in the port of Buenaventura by the police was captured unmanned narcocorrido. She is 7.5 meters long and half a meter wide, capable of carrying up to five tons of drugs. Narcocorrido much easier than submarine drug traffickers caught in February 2011, because it has no commands and is a unmanaged machine. This sub mesh to the vessel, in case of danger lowered into the water.
 
PRISON MEMOIRS
 
World press circulated an interview captured on one of narcologic submariner Gustavo Alonso. Together with three other members of the crew and guard of the Colombian drug mafia he would squeeze into the small submarine area not exceeding 15 sq. m, cruising along the Mexican coast. The submarine was discovered by a helicopter from the U.S. coast guard. By this time, drug traffickers nearly two weeks hanging out at sea – their contact person in Mexico was late for a meeting for four days. On Board were 3.5 tons of cocaine, for which, if they are on the streets of American cities, it was possible to gain at least $ 60 million. The boat was so small that the crew could hardly stand up. They whiled away the time playing cards; the only link with the outside world for them was sticking out over the water glass dome of the submarine. When the helicopter had arrived, they chose not to fight well-armed Americans – a chance to escape from a fragile vessel in the middle of the ocean off couriers almost was not.
 
This was not the first flight of Alonso: he has moved to another submarine 5 tons of cocaine. “When I first saw this sub, you were scared,” admits Alonso. However, the fright has passed, and with ten tons of fuel on Board, a supply of canned food, water and 3.5 tons of cocaine, he again went to sea. The submarine was divided into three compartments. The hatch in the bow led to the cargo hold length a meter. Packets of cocaine Alonzo and his henchmen dragged there by his knees. Tanks with diesel fuel was located under the tiny compartment where the crew slept. Toilets and ventilation on Board, but there were a GPS Navigator and radio. When the boat started to work the engines, it became unbearably hot, not enough oxygen, and the air was filled with carbon monoxide. “You constantly feel like choking,” recalls Alonso. Every four hours, the submarine dropped the speed from 12 knots up to four. At this time the crew exactly one minute opened the hatch and ran inside fresh air, after which the boat again picked up speed. I had to drink water a lot because of the heat, and the stench from the nearby “bucket” quickly became unbearable. Boat Alonso was intercepted by the US coast guard. Caught red-handed crew got a very serious prison terms. They were not lucky: the majority of drug dealers are getting away with it….

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