The crews of narco-submarines eat, pray, and get drunk somewhere in the Colombian jungle before taking on the arduous mission of transporting cocaine northwards under the surface of the sea, according to a Discovery Channel documentary, reports El Tiempo.
The program, which first aired on Sunday 1 August, is based on a story that originally appeared in a Mexican newspaper and cuts between action in Colombia, Mexico and the U.S.
“It was the interception of a submersible vessel about 12 meters long near the coast of Oaxaca in which five people were traveling and carrying five tons of cocaine,” recalls the film’s producer, Rafael Rodriguez.
The documentary looks into the evolution of this new stealth trafficking system, which costs up to $1 million to run, but can generate profits of more than $180 million per trip.
In early July, Ecuador seized a drug trafficking submarine at a jungle shipyard near the Colombian border, which the U.S. drug enforcement administration (DEA) described as a quantum leap in drug smuggling technology.
“It is the first fully functional, completely submersible submarine for transoceanic voyages that we have ever found,” Jay Bergman, Andean regional director for the Drug Enforcement Administration, told Associated Press.
Following the seizure Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said that Ecuador was able to capture the vessel only with the help of intelligence from Bogota.
“Ecuador’s armed forces seized this submarine thanks to information from Colombia’s armed forces,” Uribe said in response to Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa’s accusations that the presence of the Colombian state along the nations’ shared border is insufficient.