A million dollar homemade submarine for smuggling cocaine.
When authorities were successful at slowing illegal drug shipments over the water, smugglers went underwater with narco subs. A powerful feature that makes these submarines different from other vessels are the valves that can be opened to quickly and easily sink the sub and its cargo.
"The frontline in the war on drugs has now shifted underwater. The U.S. Coast Guard calls these cocaine submarines SPSS s (selfpropelled semi-submersibles) because they don’t dive like military subs but glide just below the surface of the water. Sightings of the vessels have skyrocketed in the last year. Back in 2006, the Coast Guard detected only three; now they are spotting as many as 10 a month. Last year alone, more drug subs were seized at sea and on dry land than in the entire previous decade. According to the DEA, as much as a third of the cocaine that arrives on American shores comes via these sometimes comical conveyances. They’re usually bound for Mexico’s west coast, where the cocaine is off-loaded onto speedboats or fishing vessels and taken ashore, while the sub is scuttled."
The Hunt for White October, Maxim>>
Inside Cocaine Submarines, National Geographic>>