100-foot-long narco sub found in Colombia
The homemade drug submarine was found in a rural area of Timbiqui.
February 15th, 2011
06:31 AM ET

100-foot-long narco sub found in Colombia

The Colombian military has seized a 100-foot-long submarine capable of transporting eight tons of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico, news reports say.

The vessel was found in a jungle area in Timbiqui in southwestern Colombia on Sunday, according to a report from RTT News.

Colombian navy officials said the homemade sub had two diesel engines and sophisticated navigational equipment that would enable it to travel to Mexico while remaining up to 30 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

The vessel was set up for a crew of four but was unoccupied when found,  RTT reported. Officials estimated it would have cost $2 million to build.

The submarine is just the latest example of crafts smugglers have made to try to get their illicit cargo past law enforcement.

Last year, VBS.TV got access to the Colombian naval base where many captured smuggling vessels are taken.

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Filed under: Colombia • Crime • Drugs • Mexico • World
soundoff (369 Responses)
  1. But wait! There's more!

    This is nothing new. This has been going on since at least the year 2000. I also recall the same story a year or two ago in Colombia. Here's a story from more than 10 years ago. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/915059.stm

    February 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • silvershado

      Me too. Same photo as well.

      February 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Former submariner

    I am a former submariner so i can give you some facts about this. First off, that big black extending from the top of the sub and going out of the frame is the snorkel mast that lets it run the diesel while slightly submerged. The diesel either charges the batteries or provides direct propulsion and exhaust can be pumped directly overboard. They would also have trouble keeping it at the correct depth and would alternate between being too deep or broached on the surface. It may run on batteries for a short period of time and could go deeper but not for very long, not very deep, and very slow.

    I don't see a periscope (unless it is built into the snorkel mast) so submerged navigation is probably done with just a map, compass, and many fingers crossed. A GPS antenna mounted to the top of the snorkel mast would also work well. Any type of inertial navigation is out of their league and power availabilty. Eventually they would run into some other floating vessel since even the most expensive subs in the world still manage to hit something a couple times a year. The open area they travel is mostly unoccupied with the exception of fishing boats, other drug runners, and military ships. Along the coast is much more crowded. Draw a line from Columbia to Northern Mexico and you will see how for out at sea they will be most of the time

    Any Navy detecting this as a drug sub while submerged is unlikely. Most likely a lucky ASW plane or helicopter would pick up the snorkel mast on radar or would see the wake. Maybe if they got really close to a warship, by accident, they would see it or pick up the mast on radar. Only another sub would really be able to pick this up on sonar since surface to surface sonar isn't that great. The sonar would also have to be very good and they would have to be looking for it so that leaves only a handful of countries that would be capable of this. It would sound exactly like a noisy trawler or a fishing boat...not a submarine. Look at the line from Columbia to Mexico and think about how many billion dollar subs that you would need to really search the area and investigate any diesel engine they pick up 365 days a year.

    February 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • 123456


      February 16, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • wow


      February 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andy

    That is nuts. I wonder when people who defend their addiction saying their drug usage has no effect on others will realize this is where it comes from and people die because of it.

    – A

    February 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. narcobizzle

    this has EVERYTHING to do with mules!

    February 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TimS

    Not new – Bunches of these "submarines" (most run in an awash condition and don't submerge) have been found by the Colombian military. Do a Google search on "Drug Smuggling Submarine Found In Colombia" and click on IMAGES on the left side of the results page.

    February 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mr_Crowley

    Quite a few of you are sadly just stup!d. The whole drug industry in the world would grind to a halt without the noble assistance of Wall Street and the rest of the American financial system. It is the only place where they can wash that much money. god bless the us of hay and their triple set of morals. and their general ignorance = average schooling level in the us of hay is grade 8.5

    February 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • justxsayxno

      You are not making a very convincing demonstration that you are a member of the intellectual elite! In 2009 over 85 percent of the population over 25 were high school graduates.

      February 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Steven

    You're acting like you've never seen a German U-Boat in the middle of the jungle before."

    February 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nut case III

    This morning I had what felt like a 100' sub coming out. no more taco bell and their fake beef

    February 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Andrew

    Gotta give'em props for ingenuity. Do they have any idea how many 'runs' this thing has made?

    February 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. silvershado

    In a previous article, these mini-sub deliveries were said to be so valuable that the subs were sunk after being emptied. A loss of a million apiece, but seen as the cost of doing business.

    February 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pedro

    Anyone else not see the two soldiers at first? Camo works.

    February 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. maurypovich

    I've seen this photo ten times and I literally just noticed the two guys standing on the sub in camo...I guess that stuff works.

    February 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ijreilly

    We should keep drugs illegal because it works.

    February 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. James

    So long as there is demand for the goods, creative people will go to great lengths to smuggle them. The amount of money involved in this stuff is beyond belief, they found this sub but there are probably dozens more in operation and more being constructed. The war on drugs is futile, someone who wishes to fry their brain will find a way.

    February 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hartselle94

    Dang it! I knew I should've parked that somewhere else.

    February 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
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