Sunday, December 14, 2008

. . . "going beneath the waves"

BAHIA MALAGA, Colombia — In the annals of the drug trade, traffickers have swallowed cocaine pellets, dissolved the powder into ceramics and flown the drug as far as Africa on flimsy planes — anything to elude detection and get a lucrative product to market. Now, the cartels seem to be increasingly going beneath the waves, relying on submarines built in clandestine jungle shipyards to move tons of cocaine.

Last year, 13 of the vessels were seized on dry land or stopped at sea by Colombian or U.S. patrol boats — more than in the previous 14 years combined, according to the Pacific fleet of the Colombian navy, which is responsible for interdiction efforts across 130,000 square miles.

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