Crime

Colombia, Ecuador intercept submarine smuggling tons of cocaine in Pacific waters

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Colombia and Ecuador intercepted two semi-submersible drug-smuggling vessels loaded with tons of contraband in their respective Pacific waters over the weekend, officials announced.

The navy of Colombia, the world’s biggest cocaine producer, said Sunday they confiscated a narco-sub about 15 meters (almost 50 feet) long near the port of Buenaventura and arrested all three people on board.

They found 795 kilograms (about 1,750 pounds) of cocaine.

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The previous day, the armed forces of narco violence-torn Ecuador said they had intercepted the same type of submarine loaded with about three tons of cocaine.

Three Colombian citizens on board were arrested.

Last year, the UN said Colombia had set a new record in 2022 for cocaine production, with the cultivation of its main ingredient, coca leaf, spreading over 230,000 hectares.

While it produces no cocaine of its own, Ecuador has become one of the main transport hubs for the drug to the United States and Europe, mainly from Colombia.

Ecuador has in recently been plunged into an unprecedented spate of gang violence fueled by the drug trade.

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