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100 ft. Drug-running sub found in Ecuador

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by mangxema, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. mangxema

    mangxema I

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    Wow.

    Spoiler :
    It has long been the stuff of drug-trafficking legend, but federal authorities announced on Saturday that they have helped seize the first known and fully operational submarine built by drug traffickers to smuggle tons of cocaine from South America toward the United States.

    The diesel-electric powered submarine was captured in an Ecuadorian jungle waterway leading to the Pacific Ocean, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    The sub, which is about 100 feet long and equipped with a periscope, was seized before its maiden voyage by Ecuadorian authorities armed with DEA intelligence.

    The discovery is seen by authorities as a game-changer in terms of the challenge it poses not only to fighting drugs but to national security as well.

    "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," said DEA Andean Regional Director Jay Bergman.

    It is unclear how far the camouflage-painted submarine could have traveled, but it is believed to be sophisticated enough to cover thousands of miles — and certainly to make it to the North American coast.

    "There is a sense of urgency for naval engineers and submariners to take a look at this thing and dissect it and take it apart and figure out what its real capabilities were," Bergman said. "The police have seized this structure, but the people that need to get on there are naval engineers."

    Bergman noted that traffickers have used speed boats, sail boats, fishing boats and specialized craft that float low in the water, but this is the first true submarine discovered.

    "Now that the Loch Ness Monster has been found, the interdiction community is going to retool their search patterns and how they conduct business," he said.

    Back in 2000 in a Bogota, Colombia, warehouse authorities thought they'd found the first ever narco submarine, but it turned out to be an enclosed boat that floated low in the water, rather than completely under the surface.

    The submarine seized in Ecuador was built in what was described as a clandestine dry dock of industrial proportions and even had housing for dozens of workers.

    It marks what could be argued as the final frontier for traffickers who have squared off against law enforcement on the land, in the air and on the sea, and now look to go beneath the waves to reach lucrative drug markets.

    "There is no place else they can go in terms of maritime," Bergman said. "The traffickers have now exhausted every possibility."

    Among the questions is who could have designed such a sophisticated machine, as well as piloted it.

    But the biggest issue haunting federal agents is this: How many more might be out there?

    "The DEA is very good," Bergman said, "but what are the odds of us detecting the first one ever built before it got underway? I'd say this is the first one we caught."

    Larry Karson, a retired Customs Service agent who is a criminal justice lecturer at the University of Houston Downtown, said the DEA very well could have found the only real narco sub.

    He noted that it isn't easy to keep a dry dock covert, let alone all the people involved.
    "It is feasible," said Karson, who noted that for years authorities have heard rumors of drug traffickers getting a submarine. But most figured traffickers would most likely buy a used one, not make their own.

    "I think everybody has been looking for it, it has been a matter of time," he said. "There was a rumor somebody would find a used one on the market. We've been using them since the Civil War."

    He noted that the former Navy P-3s that now are used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to search for sea and airborne traffickers sneaking loads toward the United States might have to revert to their old submarine hunting mission.

    Finding the sub comes as part of a long-term cat and mouse game in which authorities have combed jungles and flown over thousands of miles of open ocean each week in an attempt to deny traffickers easy access to their U.S. markets.

    As Bergman put it: "This is the final frontier for the maritime drug traffickers. We remained completely incredulous until the last minute."

    "Good cops never underestimate their enemy or the ingenuity of the adversary," he said. "But seeing is believing and that is what this day is."
     
  2. remake20

    remake20 :)

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    Woah. I didn't know anyone besides the government had subs. Hey, now I can get one!
     
  3. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    How do they know it was for running drugs, maybe it was just a pleasure craft?
     
  4. The Imp

    The Imp Kinslayer

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    The free market does everything better ;)
     
  5. h4ppy

    h4ppy You sir, pineapple?

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    Because they've found subs and near-subs like this running drugs before.
     
  6. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    So? That doesn't mean that this sub is for running drugs.
     
  7. Dawgphood001

    Dawgphood001 The Professional Poster

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    For every sub they find, there's 10 they didn't.
     
  8. mangxema

    mangxema I

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    Yeah, IIRC, the last one they found that they thought was a sub was actually a submersible filled with coke.
     
  9. h4ppy

    h4ppy You sir, pineapple?

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    The DEA gave the Ecuadorians the tip that lead to them capturing the sub so it pretty much probably is a drug running sub, Perf.
     
  10. remake20

    remake20 :)

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    Maybe it's running for some sort of cause or for govenor. :lol:

    I sure hope someone else laughs at that, or I'm screwd.
     
  11. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    The DEA makes mistakes.
     
  12. Tani Coyote

    Tani Coyote Canis Latranscendental

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    Continues to take away from the point we should instead be working toward decriminalisation/legalisation(depending on the drug)...

    I hope cartel smuggling technology keeps improving. The more ineffective the DEA becomes, the more we realise that the "war" as a whole is nonsense.

    Of course, I also hope every cartel leader gets what's coming to them for their own crimes, so it's a bit of a moral dilemma...
     
  13. DKatana10

    DKatana10 Chieftain

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    This news is yet another reason why Civ 5 should have both 'poppies' and 'coca' as a natural resource tile.

    Provides +1 :yuck: but also +1 :) . Can be voted against by palace or UN.
     
  14. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    This isn't exactly news. Drug interdiction will never work. Too much money in smuggling.
     
  15. amadeus

    amadeus めっちゃしんどい

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    It never ceases to amaze me how the basic law of supply and demand is not understood by the DEA; prohibition against the possession and consumption of hard drugs makes hard drugs more scarce and thus more highly-valued, creating an even greater incentive for those that smuggle drugs to do so.

    Or is it in fact something more sinister? With this being (seemingly) blatantly obvious, one has to wonder whether the DEA's mission is to get more drugs smuggled into America in order to guarantee the agency's own survival. The head of the DEA makes more money from drug-smuggling than your average pusher on the street does.
     
  16. Miles Teg

    Miles Teg Nuclear Powered Mentat

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    Incidentally, what's with libertarian paranoia about governmental motives?

    I mean, for chrissakes, they're always going on about the road to hell being paved with good intentions, and it seems like drug laws would be a grand example of that to them, as opposed to a conspiracy theory. Even if we were working on the initial assumption that everything Amadeus says is true (presumably because we suffered head trauma or something), it's still stupid to suggest that there are sinister motives behind the issue. Different cost-benefit analyses (it's better to have rich drug dealers than an explosion of crackheads), or moral frameworks (the government should outlaw whatever bad things it can) could just as easily lead to the same conclusions, without breaking the fundamental assumption that everyone's arguing in good faith.
     
  17. amadeus

    amadeus めっちゃしんどい

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    I am glad to hear that you have recovered from your brain trauma and are once again agreeing with me. :goodjob:

    I don't think there's any conspiracy involved because (a.) the government is terrible at keeping secrets and (b.) they're already (unknowingly and unintentionally) proliferating drug smuggling to continue the justification of the existence of their agency.

    I do think that it would be naive to say though that the DEA does not have a continued vested interest in keeping drugs illegal. In this sense, they profit from it as much as the drug dealers do.
     
  18. Karalysia

    Karalysia Chieftain

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    You're missing some of the people who have the biggest vested interests in keeping things like weed illegal. Tobacco companies.
     
  19. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    I wouldn't call it the DEA. Congress and presidents have given the DEA their marching orders. So it is the elected government that you should criticize for not understanding supply and demand.
     
  20. Volum

    Volum The Zapper

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    Did the DEA take your submarine?
     

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