US Coast Guard seized 9 tons of cocaine from drug trafficking vessels in November, officials say

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The U.S. Coast Guard seized more than nine tons of cocaine smuggling vessels in the Atlantic Ocean last month, officials said.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche on Wednesday unloaded the 18,219 pounds of cocaine, which had an estimated street value of more than $239 million.

The drugs were recovered by two U.S. Coast Guard vessels in six separate incidents off the coasts of Mexico and Central and South America in November, the Coast Guard said in a statement. Press release.

Seizures ranged from 44 pounds of cocaine to more than 5,500 pounds taken from a self-propelled semi-submersible on Nov. 20.

Semi-submersibles, also known as “narco-submarines”, like the one captured are used to evade detection by the coast guard and other authorities. They never submerge completely underwater and, in the last three decades, a number has been intercepted in the Atlantic Ocean on the way to the United States or Europe.

The US Coast Guard Cutter Waesche conducts an anti-narcotics patrol on November 20, 2023.

US Coast Guard

The Nov. 20 interception was the first in the Eastern Pacific since 2020, which Capt. Robert Mohr, Waesche’s commander, said was a notable achievement.

“I am very impressed with the crew’s dedication during this dynamic patrol,” Mohr said in a statement. “They overcame multiple challenges with collective hard work, ingenuity and positive attitudes to keep us in the hunt for these cartels and their dangerous drugs.”

In October, the colombian navy conducted its own notably large bust when it seized a semi-submersible loaded with 3.3 tons of cocaine, officials said in a press release.

He semisubmersible was intercepted while sailing in South Pacific waters, and the cocaine was “apparently destined for shipment to the coasts of Central America,” the Colombian Navy said.

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