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The U.S. Coast Guard raided a submarine speeding through the eastern Pacific Ocean moving more than 17,000 pounds of cocaine — and released a video Thursday to prove it.
On June 18, a Coast Guard surveillance aircraft tracked the drug-filled narco-sub hundreds of miles off the Colombian and Ecuadoran coastline watched by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro.
The video shows a member of the Coast Guard jumping on top of the speeding sub, pounding on the hatch, and demanding it come to a stop. Then, three other guardsmen jump ship and board the 40-foot sub while one pounds on the hatch with his fist.
The video ends with a presumed trafficker emerging from the narco-sub, putting his hands up in surrender.
Five alleged smugglers were seized aboard the vessel and were handed over for prosecution by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Narco-submarines, funded by South American cartels and hauling hefty amounts of drugs, are mostly handmade in the jungle to remain as inconspicuous as possible. They're tough to spot, but they typically can't submerge for very long. This one was caught skimming partly above the surface.
Most subs get away. The Coast Guard captures only 11% of narco-subs passing through the East Pacific because the region is so big — about the size of the continental U.S., according to Lt. Commander Stephen Brickey.
The seized cocaine is estimated to be worth $232 million, the Coast Guard said. The drug bust was part of an organized crime investigation apprehending 18 tons of cocaine and marijuana worth over $569 million.
Cover: Image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.