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News (Media Awareness Project) - Canada: Frigate Helps Recover Drug Boat
Title:Canada: Frigate Helps Recover Drug Boat
Published On:2012-01-17
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Fetched On:2012-01-19 06:02:21

Narco-Submarine Packed With Cocaine

A Canadian frigate has helped recover a sunken narco-submarine packed
with cocaine from the Caribbean Sea floor.

The midget sub - discovered more than 900 metres under water - was
stuffed with 6,700 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value
of $180 million U.S.

"We made meaningful contributions to this operation, while working
with several different nations and their government agencies to keep
illicit drugs off North American streets," said Cmdr. Jamie Clarke,
commanding officer of HMCS St. John's.

The semi-submersible vessel had been scuttled by its crew as
authorities closed in.

Designed to elude radar and sonar, these sneaky drug boats skim along
just below the waterline. They generally cannot dive, and must remain
close to the surface to maintain air supply to the crew and engine.

Mini-submarines of this sort are an increasingly common method used by
smugglers to transport cocaine from Central and South America to the
United States. American officials reportedly now see over 10 enter the
United States each month.

For nine days, the crew of St. John's provided medical evacuation
support to the FBI laboratory's technical dive team, which conducted
the dangerous undersea search for the sunken craft.

In the course of the mission, St. John's Sea King helicopter was
called in to evacuate a sailor from the U.S. Coast Guard Ship Cypress
back to the mainland.

HMCS St. John's was in the Caribbean as part of Operation CARIBBE, a
U.S.-led, multinational effort to interdict drug trafficking in the
international waters of the Caribbean Basin and eastern Pacific Ocean.

During the six-week operation, St. John's provided surveillance to the
area, leaving law enforcement agencies free to locate and arrest drug

While St. John's was in the Caribbean, the U.S. Coast Guard made 38
arrests, and seized a total of 10,902 kg of cocaine and 1,144 kg of
marijuana, equating to more than $223 million U.S.
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