San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Drug submarine captured in Ecuador destined for Costa Rica

Colombian and Ecuadorian authorities captured a drug submarine in the northern province of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, Interpol’s office in Cartagena, Colombia, reported.

The semi-submersible could carry more than 1,300 pounds in a single trip, according to a spokesperson for Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón. The press representative added that upwards of seven tons of drugs could be moved across varying distances.

Authorities arrested three suspects in connection with the submarine on Sunday. 

The drug sub was reportedly headed for Costa Rica, Guatemala and finally the United States.

Costa Rican Public Security Vice Minister Celso Gamboa did not comment on if Costa Ricans were among the three arrested, adding that often people from the country of production pilot the vessels.

Gamboa confirmed that these kinds of submarines have landed in Costa Rica in the past.

“[Drug traffickers] have had to become more versatile since it has become more difficult to use their fast boats in Costa Rica,” the vice minister said, attributing the inventive approach to better enforcement by Costa Rica’s Coast Guard.

Costa Rica has become an increasingly trafficked corridor in recent years for cocaine moving north from the Andes into the United States.

AFP contributed to this report

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