Colombia cartels use high-tech torpedoes to smuggle drugs

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The Colombian Navy on Oct. 23 found 73 kg of cocaine submerged and attached to a docked sailboat off Baru island near the coastal city of Cartagena on Oct. 23.

Colombian authorities say towing drugs in these so-called “narco torpedos” is a new trafficking technique favored by the country's drug cartels.


According to InSight Crime, the drugs are loaded onto a torpedo-shaped container, which is attached to the bottom of a boat by a cable. The drug-carrying boat sets off with other boats. One boat acts as a decoy to divert the authorities’ attention so the other boats, including the one carrying the drugs, can get a away. If the drug-carrying boat is intercepted, it releases the torpedo to avoid detection. The torpedo then releases a buoy that emits a GPS signal, allowing it to be recovered by another boat.


Univision reported that the narco torpedo was developed back in 2000. An earlier version used a radio-transmitter. Other variations include attaching the drug-laden torpedoes to the bottom of freight ships to be retrieved by divers at night after the vessel has docked at port.


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Drugs loaded onto a torpedo; torpedo attached to a speedboat
2. Three speedboats traveling in the sea
3. One boat intercepted by authorities while two boats get away
4. Drug-carrying boat releases torpedo while being chased by the authorities
5. The torpedo releases its buoy
6. The buoy emits a GPS signal; another boat receives the GPS signal
7. The boat recovers the torpedo


VOICEOVER (in English):
“The drugs are loaded onto a torpedo-shaped container, which is tethered to the hull of a boat using a cable.”

“The vessel sets off with other boats.”

“One boat acts as a decoy to divert authorities’ attention so the other boats, including the one moving contraband, can get a away.”

“If the drug-carrying boat is intercepted, it releases the torpedo.”

“The torpedo then releases a buoy,”

“... which transmits a GPS signal,”

“... allowing it to be recovered by another vessel.”

SOURCES: InSight Crime, Univision
http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/why-colombia-cocaine-traffickers-love-high-tech-torpedoes
http://www.univision.com/noticias/noticias-de-eeuu/narco-tec-tecnologia-e-ingenio-al-servicio-de-los-narcos