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U.S. Coast Guard captures submarine with $165 million in cocaine

Christian Fernsby |
The Coast Guard Cutter Valiant crew intercepted a drug-laden, 40-foot self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) in the Eastern Pacific.

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While on routine patrol in the Eastern Pacific, Valiant’s crew interdicted a self-propelled semi-submersible in international waters carrying approximately 12,000 pounds of cocaine, worth over $165 million and apprehended four suspected drug smugglers.

The semi-submersible was originally detected and monitored by maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), and the Valiant crew was diverted by Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S) to interdict the semi-submersible, arriving after sunset.

The Valiant crew launched two small boats with boarding teams made up of Valiant crew and two members of the Coast Guard Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, successfully interdicting the semi-submersible in the early morning hours, who subsequently led and conducted a full law enforcement boarding with the assistance of Colombian Naval assets that arrived on scene shortly after.

Approximately over 1,100 pounds of cocaine were recovered and offloaded to the Valiant during the operations.

The remaining cocaine on the semi-submersible could not be safely extracted due to stability concerns of the vessel.

The joint boarding successfully stopped a drug smuggling vessel and also strengthened international relations and communications between the two partner nations.

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