Submarine Seized In Ecuador With DEA’s HelpJuly 3, 2010 - 5:45 PM | by: Mike Levine
Authorities in Ecuador, joined by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, have seized a submarine built secretly in the jungles of the South American country, according to a DEA press release.
The electric-powered submarine, 30 feet long, was intended to transport multi-ton quantities of cocaine. But after acting on intelligence obtained by the DEA, authorities in Ecuador were able to seize the clandestine vessel on Friday before it was ever deployed, the DEA said.
One person at the site of the submarine was taken into custody, but no additional details about the suspect were provided. The DEA said the investigation of the captured submarine is ongoing.
In order the evade detection by law enforcement or military personnel, the submarine was constructed in a remote area of jungle near the Ecuador-Colombia border. Friday’s operation marks the first seizure of a clandestinely constructed, fully-operational submarine built to facilitate trans-oceanic drug trafficking, according to the DEA.
“The advent of the narco-submarine presents new detection challenges for maritime interdiction forces,” DEA Andean Regional Director Jay Bergman said in a statement. “The submarine’s nautical range, payload capacity and quantum leap in stealth have raised the stakes for the counter-drug forces and the national security community alike.”