Mexican Navy Captures Mini-Submarine With One Ton Of Cocaine ~ Borderland Beat
“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat
The Mexican Navy (Semar) captured a mini-submarine from South America loaded with one ton of cocaine and arrested its four crew members (two Ecuadorians and two Nicaraguans) as the vessel began to sink.
This is the fifth capture of a mini-submarine by the Mexican Navy since the year 2000 off the Pacific coast, although it was not highlighted or publicized by the Semar on the dates on which its head, Admiral Rafael Ojeda Durán, assures that the seizure took place, between December 6 and 9.
In other alternate operations carried out on those dates and on December 15, the Mexican Navy also secured two boats loaded with drugs and refueling on their route to the north of the country.
The seizure of the drugs was announced by the Secretary of the Navy during the morning conference on Tuesday, December 20 at the National Palace, where the members of the security cabinet reported on what had been achieved between December 6 and 19.
In fact, there were at least three tracking and interception operations carried out by the Mexican Navy in which a total of 2,168 kilograms of cocaine were seized in actions carried out between December 6 and 15 in Chiapas. The data was mentioned by Admiral Ojeda in the part of the naval report on relevant seizures, but without highlighting the fact that it was the fifth seizure of a semi-submersible in Mexican waters since the year 2000 to date.
The Secretary left the information on the semi-submersible for the end of his balance sheet, stating that, “lastly, in relevant seizures on December 6 and 7, with ships and aircraft of the Ministry of the Navy, two small boats and a small LPV type vessel, which is like a semi-submersible, with seven crew members were seized and 1,018 kilograms of cocaine and two 2,700 liters of fuel were seized. On December 15, also with surveillance in the Mexican Pacific, a low-profile vessel and two smaller vessels were located and tracked. The cargo they were carrying was beaconed, thrown into the sea and followed, we went after the cargo and secured 1,150 kilograms of cocaine,” he said.
This was what the Secretary of the Navy said in the morning conference, however, in the evening, in a press release, the Navy changed the figures and reduced the shipment from 1,018 kilograms to 873 kilograms, without offering any explanation for the modification of 145 kilograms in the final weight of the seized drug.
In the communiqué, the Semar indicated that the seizure of the mini-submarine, “was carried out on the 6th of the current day, when it was at sea, transporting 30 packages, containing in its interior approximately 860 packages of presumed cocaine hydrochloride, with an approximate weight of 873 (eight hundred and seventy three) kilograms; Also, four persons (two Ecuadorian and two Nicaraguan nationals) were arrested on board the vessel; the vessel was towed; however, due to its characteristics and the poor condition of its materials, it sank as a result of waterways”.
Almost 30 tons seized in 2022
This seizure is not only the fifth capture of a semi-submersible loaded with cocaine, but also raises the seizures of this drug to almost 30 tons seized this year alone, reaching 28,168 kilograms of the drug intercepted by the Mexican Navy.
Just last November 8, the Secretary of the Navy had highlighted that this year the seizures of cocaine made by naval personnel already exceeded 26 tons of the drug, in a strategy to combat drug trafficking in which the exchange of intelligence information with other countries and the deployment of naval air and surface forces to combat drug trafficking stand out.
Thus, the Mexican Navy’s anti-drug interdiction operations along the country’s coasts, especially in the Pacific, maintain a constant dynamic based on the use of advanced technology, the deployment of surface and naval air units and, above all, the cooperation and exchange of sensitive information with other maritime forces.
In the first half of September of this year, the amount of cocaine secured during 2022 was already at least 23.6 tons.
The seizure of 12.7 tons of accumulated cocaine was then announced by the Undersecretary of Citizen Security, Ricardo Mejía Berdeja, in the monthly security report from April 21 to May 20 of this year, highlighting that what was done by naval units has prevented millions of doses of the alkaloid from reaching the streets of Mexico and the United States and that at least 4 billion pesos have reached the hands of criminal groups inside and outside the country, according to federal government estimates.
The information on the seizure of the semi-submersible was included at the end of a general communiqué prepared by the Semar to report its security balance. Hours later, the secretariat extracted the information to highlight it separately, as a relevant note, after having left it missing in its press release. On its website, the Semar did not report the seizure of the semi-submersible in its press releases dated between December 6 and 15.
In the press release on the seizure of the mini-submarine, the Navy indicated that, within the framework of the “Operation at Sea”, personnel assigned to the Sixteenth Naval Region, with headquarters in Puerto Chiapas, Chiapas, in recent days managed to seize approximately 873 (eight hundred and seventy three) kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride aboard a semi-submersible and two Go Fast vessels that were transporting a large amount of fuel; as well as the arrest of seven people of different nationalities in Mexican Pacific waters off the coast of Chiapas.
The seizure of the first Go Fast vessel took place on December 5, in the waters of the South Pacific off the coast of Chiapas, where a smaller vessel with three outboard motors was seized. Three Mexican nationals were also arrested and 37 drums containing approximately 1,927 (one thousand nine hundred and twenty-seven) liters of fuel, presumably used to refuel vessels engaged in illicit activities, were seized.
The seizure of the semi-submersible vessel took place on the 6th of this month, when it was at sea, transporting 30 packages containing approximately 860 packages of presumed cocaine hydrochloride, weighing approximately 873 (eight hundred and seventy-three) kilograms; Four people (two Ecuadorian and two Nicaraguan nationals) were also arrested on board the vessel; the vessel was towed; however, due to its characteristics and the poor condition of its materials, it sank as a result of waterways, according to the Navy.
Meanwhile, the seizure of the second Go Fast, took place on December 7 in the mangrove area of the state of Chiapas, where naval personnel carried out its seizure, which had on board three outboard engines and 14 drums with approximately 857 (eight hundred and fifty seven) liters of fuel inside.
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