Homemade 'Narcosubmarine' Nabbed With Three Tonnes Of Cocaine
Police intercepted a submarine carrying thousands of kilos of cocaine on Saturday in a bust deemed the first of its kind.
The Spanish Civil Guard discovered the submarine, which they described as 'homemade', in the waters of the northwestern region on Galicia on Saturday.
After a tipoff, police divers entered the submarine via a top hatch and then used airbags to slowly float it to the surface.
Inside, they discovered 152 neatly-packed bales of cocaine, with an estimated street value of 100 million euros -- AUD$162 million.
In total, three tonnes of the drug was found.
While the use of submarines to smuggle drugs is common in the Americas, police said on Wednesday this was the very first "narcosubmarine" intercepted in Europe.
Police said finding the sub was an important step towards the battle against the drug trade in the region.
"This is a historic operation, one that will mark a before and after for security forces as they now contend with this new possibility," head of the central government delegation in Galicia, Javier Losada, told media.
Rough waters had complicated smugglers' alleged efforts to transfer the drugs from the 'homemade' boat to another, leading the suspects to sink the submarine before abandoning it.
As they did so, they were spotted by patrolling officers.
Police arrested an Ecuadorian national on the scene who was wearing a wetsuit. On Sunday morning, a second Ecuadorian was arrested while a third suspect remains on the run.
Police investigations continue to determine the origin of the drugs.
Contact Siobhan at email@example.com.