Narco Sub Culture


Cocaine shipments from Colombia to the USA started in the 1980ties with what in the Narco Lingo became know as aerial bombardment. Pablo Escobar and his associates would fill small passenger planes with Cocaine and drop the cargo at a specific location inside the US. Although still in use with time authorities became better at detecting these illegal aircrafts and Narco-runners began looking into new ways to Coronar (Crown) their loads.

Besides the use of fishing vessels, boats known as “Go fast” were deployed first from the Caribbean and later the pacific coast. The “Go fast” propelled by four or five 250 CC prepared engines where very fast but relied heavily on good logistics for refuelling. With time in the ever-escalating cat and mouse game of drug interdiction the use of the “Go Fast” along with the fishing vessel diminished giving way to a new invention the semisubmersibles.

Semisubmersibles have been in use since 1998 according to a mafia captain and are essentially a boat with an all-enclosing cap on the top. Equipped with a 350cc diesel engine hand made out of fibreglass in the mangrove swamp of southern Colombia’s pacific coast they look like a creation more fitting into a cartoon strip then the high seas. So far it has been a very successful way of smuggling cocaine. The trick of the semi submersibles consists in “flying below the radar”. The difficulty for the surface scanning radar is that the only part of the semisubmersibles structure above the sea surface (but not above the wave height) is the small window used by the pilot to look out making the tuning of the radar almost impossible.

The difficulty for the infrared heat seeking radar is the fact that the waves constantly splash over the structure, cooling the heat emitted by the engine. Its estimated construction value of 1 million USD is dwarfed by its ability to transport as much as 8 tons of cocaine with a street value of 300 million dollars.

The 12th of February Colombian authorities found in the mangrove swamps of the pacific coast a Submarine i.e. an interdiction nightmare. Fully loaded with food provision and diesel ready to deliver 8 tons of cocaine.

It has a length of 29.4 meters a diameter of 2.5 meters and a forestay of 6.2 meters. Entirely made of fibre glass with a thickness of 3 cm, equipped with GPS and electronic charts HF and VHF radios two cameras on the periscope one for day and one for night vision to monitor the sea surface while submerged.

The submarine has a 346 HP Yamaha engine that reaches 2600 rpm, it has two electrical air compressors an electricity generator attached to the propulsion engine and one diesel run generator as auxiliary plant. Its build for four crew members and has autonomy of about 900 miles. The Colombian navy assumes that there are submarines out there at this very moment heading for the US or Europe loaded with cocaine.

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