First Known “Narcosubmarine” Intercepted by Spain

November 27, 2019 (Google Translation) – The Civil Guard, the National Police and the Tax Agency have already refloated the submarine intercepted last Saturday 3,000 kilos of cocaine a few miles from the beach of Hío, in the region of Morrazo (Pontevedra). Once the countdown was finished during the past morning, a total of 152 bales have been intervened. The submersible, from which they intended to transfer the drug to another vessel, is already in the port of Aldán, in Cangas (Pontevedra) where the drug has been extracted from its interior. This is the first “narcosubmarine” detected in the European continent. In the operation two people have been arrested – of Ecuadorian nationality – and there is a third flight whose whereabouts are still unknown.

Investigations began when the Center for Maritime Drug Analysis and Operations (MAOC) alerted the Intelligence Center against Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO), about a suspicious vessel that would go to Spain for the Atlantic loaded with cocaine. In this first phase, collaboration with the UK police forces has been essential for the subsequent interception of the submarine. Police from Portugal, the United States and Brazil also participated in the operation.

From that moment on, a detection and location device was deployed with aircraft from A Coruña and Pontevedra, and the police presence was reinforced throughout the coastal area.

The temporary situation at sea did not allow the semi-submersible to deliver the drug to a second vessel and forced its crew to move it to the coast, where the detainees caused its sinking and abandoned it. This maneuver was detected by a Civil Guard patrol with night vision means, which located the place of arrival of the ship and detected the subsequent flight of its crew.

At that time, a person who appeared equipped with a wetsuit was arrested and at 9 a.m. on Sunday, a second drug dealer was arrested. The third crew member has fled and is currently missing.

The investigation is still open to determine both the origin of the drug and the organization that would receive the drug in Spain. Although the use of submarines is very common in America, this is the first time this drug transport system has been detected in Europe. It is an artisanal artifact, made of fiber, with the capacity and autonomy to transport between three and five tons of cocaine.