Now this could be seriously impressive:

The first “narco sub” in European waters has been captured by police as drug gangs attempted to smuggle three tonnes of cocaine into Europe, much of which would have ended up on British streets.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) worked with Spanish police and customs to intercept the 65-foot long semi-submersible submarine which was loaded with cocaine worth hundreds of millions of pounds on the UK market.

Note that it’s a semi- it sorta wallows along just at surface level rather than deep diving. But building something like that in some jungle hideout is pretty cool. There have been articles on the people doing this for the Caribbean trade. But here’s something. Are they really saying that people have been able to create transatlantic versions? That really is some boatbuiilding, no?

What does rather confuse though is that real’n’proper subs do sometimes come up for sale. Why aren’t they using them?

Or, perhaps, they are and aren’t being caught?

19 thoughts on “Narcosubs”

  1. Run Silent Run Deep for druggies.

    Depth charges is all that need be said. Of course some of these “mules” may be poor chumps forced to man such vehicles –family hostage back in whatever shithold (sic–quite like that as a neologism) country they come from.

    And good in a way that private resources are up to submarining it. The field needs dynamic entrepreneurs. Musk might find it a way out of his money troubles. While I think Musk is a con man –his space efforts DO have merit. And hopefully will echo into far future history long after his eco-bullshit car fraud is deservedly forgotten.

  2. Betting is that it was towed by a mothership until some more reasonable distance from Europe. But still ingenious.

  3. Presumably they just offloaded it from a ship just in international waters.

    My guess is they just paid a conventional shipyard to create it – posing as rich divers or something. And that’s probably how the authorities new exactly where to be to catch it in the act – they must have been tracking the operation for a while to have everything in place.

    I’m surprised it is manned though, would have thought it would be easier to build and more economic to make it an autonomous drone and not have to leave space/air for humans.

  4. Those of us who were fans of “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” in our misspent childhood may be able to help here.

    One of the funniest shows of all time– between Seaweed Monster men and the sight of venerable actors like poor old Richard Basehart having to fling themselves from one side of the set to the other to simulate underwater shockwaves–it also contained one of my favourite childhood concepts.

    The Flying Sub–atomic powered no less.

    Say that somebody out there remembers fondly the Flying Sub. Now there is a narco-trick to beat them all.

    Plus high time for a remake of Irwin Allen’s masterpiece as a big budget eco-freak show. The “Seaview” (the only submarine ever named after a Blackpool boarding house ) has to stop the ice caps melting. Starring every British thesp going–imagine Tom Courtney, McKellen and Jacobi and Helen Mirren/Dench etc having to fling themselves side-to–side across a modern high tech set. With John Malkovich in a syrup as “Admiral Nelson”.

    I haven’t been to the pictures in years but I’d go to see that. Even tho’ my heart might give out from so much laughter.

  5. “It is highly likely a lot of this cocaine would have ended up on the streets of the UK, fuelling serious violence and impacting on the most vulnerable members of society.
    “Seizures like this are vital in disrupting and dismantling transnational crime groups trafficking deadly drugs, and ultimately protecting the public from the damage they cause.”

    Er, no. That’s the result of needing to land cocaine from a submarine. All of that results from coke being illegal. “Deadly drug”? So how many people actually die from cocaine use?* Compared with say, alcoholism?

    *OK. I personally know of one. Friend of the g/f was found dead in her apartment up in Madrid, last month. Died from inhaling vomit whilst unconscious, it seems. Coke was possibly a contributing factor. Use does let you drink a lot more whilst remaining remaining vaguely functional. Coke was more of a symptom than a cause. She was a pretty fucked up person in general. I’ve lost count of the people I’ve known booze has seen off.

  6. Ecks I don’t remember your flying sub, only Stingray and the Thunderbirds 2 and 4 combination.

    Lady Penelope still gives me a semi-on.

  7. “Are they really saying that people have been able to create transatlantic versions? That really is some boatbuiilding, no?”

    yes, 64 feet! I wouldn’t want to make that journey at sea level over the atlantic but i suppose rowing boats do it. Maybe there’s a mother ship that is safe in international waters, and the sub is for the bit where you are going to enter the territorial waters and meet up with the locals.

  8. It is highly likely a lot of this cocaine would have ended up on the streets of the UK, fuelling serious violence and impacting on the most vulnerable members of society.

    You could say that with the supply having been reduced, and prices presumably rising, there is more incentive to get in on the racket and hurt people to make even more money.

  9. “…impacting on the most vulnerable members of society.

    I thought the most vulnerable members of society had all been forced to use food banks because of eeee-vil Tory austerity. How do they afford cocaine?

  10. I remember Voyage with great fondness, I often wondered why it was necrssary for Admiral Nelson (Baseheart) to don a leather jacket to pilot the Flying Sub. At least it had seatbelts.
    The original film starred Walter Pidgeon, Joan Fontaine Peter Lorre and a young (and really lovely) Barbara Eden. The plot was actually about Global Warming too !

    Reminds me also of Batman The Movie with Adam West. Penguin buys a surplus submarine complete with Polaris missiles. Amongst the general mayhem, Batman talks to the responsible Commodore “… if someone buys an atomic submarine, the Navy should at least demand that they leave an address.”

  11. I suspect Tim wasn’t serious about buying a de-commissioned sub, but just in case anyone wonders why they don’t go this route, it would draw quite a bit of attention, something smugglers seek to avoid. One of my favorite lines from Game of Thrones “begging your pardon my lady, but if you’re a smuggler and you’re famous you’re doing it wrong”.

  12. Your own bespoke escape submarine is quite the status symbol among billionaires with beachfront palaces. Kind of a mobile panic room. The Sultan of Brunei has one, commissioned in about 1980. Maybe he has two by now.

  13. “How do they afford cocaine?”

    With all that money they saved by going to the food banks, instead of paying for groceries like the rest of us. 😉

  14. Say that somebody out there remembers fondly the Flying Sub. Now there is a narco-trick to beat them all.

    Yes, indeed. As dramatic as the flying sub was, it couldn’t hold a candle to the surfacing maneuver of the Seaview: pull back the stick to come to a 50° angle, kick the engines into full forward, and burst 50 feet out of the ocean, coming down in a magnificent bellyflop. Oh, to be completely unconstrained by physics, marine engineering, naval architecture, or even common sense.

  15. Not to mention the Seaview’s huge windows, highly practical for deep diving and being attacked by giant killer squids.

    UFO had Skydiver and the fascinating physics of rocket launching a fighter from the front of the submarine.

  16. iirc most EU cocaine imported via North Africa, I’d guess the semi-submersible was coming up West coast or across Med

    Two Ecuadorian nationals have been arrested and a search for the third crew member is ongoing

    Shouldn’t be difficult on a 65-foot long semi-submersible – unless he’s called Basil

    Think Flywat Toswer

    @Mr Ecks

    Voyage to the bottom of the sea: Fatal cargo


    I’ve been a passenger in Lady Penelope’s RR – promo crew stayed in Royal Hotel, Bangor and dad pulled some strings…

  17. Thanks Pcar.

    drC/Ottokring–The Seaview was in many ways a remarkable example of the submarine designers art. Corridors wide enough to do a Shining-tricycle along, office doors instead of watertight ones and the big windows when most of the world’s oceans will have about 2 yards visibility if that.

    The crew also lacked the kind of safety mindset that makes for peace of mind at sea.

    I remember one internal monster hunt where hand grenades were issued from the locker on the bridge–in itself not the wisest place to store live hand grenades–for use INSIDE the under weigh Seaview. It must have been some monster to be worth depth charging your own sub from the inside.

    Still fondly remember Saturday tea times –bacon and eggs or an orange with sugar and bread and butter–watching the show though.

  18. Still fondly remember Saturday tea times

    Me too. Watching Doctor Who making toast over the fire with the telescopic long fork

    Then Dad arriving home from work with latest Beano & Dandy for my brother and me – sometimes sweets too

    Happy, simple days

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