Bogota – Colombian police seized a drug-smuggling submarine equipped with GPS navigation, external cameras and satellite telephones, authorities said Monday.
The sub has capacity to carry four tons of cocaine and may have cost as much as $2 million to build, the deputy director of the National Police narcotics squad, Col. Carlos Enrique Rodriguez, said in Bogota.
He told reporters the vessel was "equipped with the latest technology," including radar, GPS navigation, external cameras, a gyroscope and data ports for computers and satellite phones.
Made of steel and fiberglass, the sub is 40 feet long, 11 feet wide and 16.5 feet high, with room for a crew of five, Rodriguez said.
The vessel was built to travel up to 10 days without refueling and to cruise at a depth of 5 meters (16.3 feet), "which makes its detection more difficult," the colonel said.
"Intelligence work" enabled police to locate the submarine in a rural area of the western province of Choco, bordering Panama, he said.
Police determined that the sub belonged to Jorge Neftali Umenza Velasco, commander of the 30th Front of the FARC rebel group, Rodriguez said.
The colonel also referred to the earlier capture of a drug submarine in the southwestern province of Valle del Cauca, next door to Choco.
That sub had the capacity to haul at least 10 tons of drugs to Central America, police Gen. Luis Alberto Perez Alvarado told Efe on Saturday.
He said the craft probably belonged to the 29th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.