HomeNewsBriefColombian Police Seize ‘Urabeños’ Drug Submarine
BRIEF

Colombian Police Seize ‘Urabeños’ Drug Submarine

COLOMBIA / 19 OCT 2011 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Colombian officials have found the third “narco-submarine” in less than a month, in a makeshift shipyard on the Caribbean coast.

The operation took place in Cordoba, a northern province of the country. According to Colombian police, the sub belonged to the Urabeños drug gang, and was still under construction at the time of the raid. The vessel was reportedly 20 meters long, valued at $1.5 million, and had the capacity to transport up to six tons of drugs.

The location of the latest discovery is unusual, as the majority of such smuggling vessels have been found on the Pacific coast. In two separate operations on September 24 and 26, police captured two other narco-subs in the Valle del Cauca and Choco provinces. Authorities said that both belonged to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest rebel group, although InSight Crime considers this to be unlikely.

Some anti-drug officials have expressed concern over the technological complexity of submersible and semi-submersible trafficking vessels, which they say has progressed tremendously in recent years. In July 2010, for instance, officials found the first known fully-submersible drug submarine in Ecuador, which U.S. officials referred to as a “quantum leap” in the drug trade.

In February of this year, Colombian officials discovered the first domestic fully-submersible trafficking vessel, indicating that the necessary engineering expertise has become more readily available to drug trafficking organizations in the region.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

COCA / 26 FEB 2019

When Colombian President Iván Duque announced his new security plan, he told the media that security “shouldn’t be confused with…

AUC / 9 DEC 2010

An analysis by the think tank Verdad Abierta says that the largest criminal bands in Colombia, including the ERPAC, Rastrojos,…

COLOMBIA / 19 SEP 2013

Neo-paramilitary criminal gangs are the greatest threat to Colombians trying to reclaim stolen land, according to US NGO Human Rights…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…