The first submarine built in Europe for smuggling drugs has been found in the province of Málaga.  Last month, National Police announced the discovery of the vessel which was found under construction inside an industrial unit at Monda, 18 kilometres north of Marbella, during February.  It was the culmination of a drugs offensive which began in Cataluña 18 months earlier.

The semi-submersible equipped with two engines is nine metres long, three metres wide and three metres in depth.  Investigators say it is designed to travel close to the surface and would be capable of transporting up to two tons of drugs. 

Speaking at a press conference in Cádiz, the General Commissioner of the Judicial Police, Rafael Pérez, said that the criminal gang responsible had invested around €1 million on building the vessel.  He added that it was almost ready to be launched, and was apparently to be used to collect cocaine from a “mother ship” somewhere at sea.

Following the vessel’s discovery, further investigations at an international level led to the detentions of over 50 people in several countries.  The operation was coordinated by Europol and involved both the US and the UK.

In addition, more than three tons of cocaine was seized, along with the decommissioning of several drugs processing laboratories.

The first “narco sub” to be found in Spain arrived in Galicia from Colombia last November, having being seized by the authorities on the high seas.  The 20 metre long vessel had been found to be carrying around three tons of cocaine.