Wednesday 11 December 2019

Smugglers held after sinking submarine filled with cocaine

 

Spanish Guardia Civil's divers work to refloat a submarine used to transport drugs illegally in Aldan, northwestern Spain. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP via Getty Images
Spanish Guardia Civil's divers work to refloat a submarine used to transport drugs illegally in Aldan, northwestern Spain. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP via Getty Images

James Badcock

Spanish police have, for what is believed to be the first time, intercepted a submarine being used to smuggle drugs into Europe - and seized a reported three tonnes of Colombian cocaine.

Police sources say the 20metre-long submarine, thought to be similar to those used by traffickers to transport cocaine from Colombia to Mexico and the US, was detected in waters off the north-western region of Galicia when its three-man crew got into difficulties due to engine problems.

Two Ecuadorean men were arrested, but a manhunt continues for a third member of the gang, reported to be a Spanish citizen.

Before attempting to escape on land, the crew deliberately sank the vessel with a large amount of the cocaine still on board after reportedly dumping some of their cargo at sea. The authorities are trying to refloat the sunken vessel.

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