U.S. Drug Enforcement Fights Submarine-like boats hauling cocaine.
It is not too uncommon for the U.S. Navy or Coast Guard to spot vessels similar in size to humpback whales gliding through the water’s surface. Columbian drug traffickers are attempting to evade border patrols and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration by constructing homemade semi-submersible vessels. The vessels have been found to carry large amounts of cocaine and even crew members.
A recently passed U.S. law, the Drug Trafficking Vessel Interdiction Act of 2008, seeks to punish these crew members with longer prison sentences and strengthen the U.S.’s abilities to prevent other such vessels from reaching the U.S.
“It’s very likely a game-changer,” said Jay Bergman, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s regional director, based in Columbia. “You don’t get a get-out-of-jail free card anymore.”