Submersible bust yields 6 tons of cocaine

July 19, 2008 at 8:03 AM
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MEXICO CITY, July 19 (UPI) -- U.S. officials say information they provided to the Mexican Navy led to the seizure of a cocaine-laden submarine off the country's southwestern coast.

The four-man, semi-submersible fiberglass craft was loaded with nearly 6 tons of cocaine bound from Colombia to the Mexican resort city of Huatulco, but was intercepted by Mexican marines acting on a tip from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Houston Chronicle reported Saturday.

"We provided intelligence, but the Mexican navy acted alone in executing the seizure," Michael Chertoff, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, told reporters Friday in Mexico City, where he was discussing drug war cooperation and other security matters with Mexican officials.

Chertoff said the undersea bust happened on Wednesday about 120 miles off Mexico's Pacific coast. Mexican marines lowered from helicopters stopped the 30-foot long submersible and towed into the port of Salina Cruz, the Chronicle said. Inside was a cocaine stash valued at $120 million in U.S. street prices.

Colombian drug producers are using such craft more often, officials said. They float just beneath the ocean's surface and are hard to detect on radar because of their low profile.

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