The Colombian Navy announced on Thursday that it has intercepted a motor boat carrying over one ton of cocaine, worth more than $41 million, off the Providencia Archipelago near Central America. The vessel was monitored by a Maritime Task Group after being identified as “suspicious.” Following a prolonged chase, the task group successfully seized the boat.
The boat was manned by five Colombian nationals and contained 48 packages along with 40 loose rectangular packages of a substance later identified as cocaine. Upon being taken to the San Andrés Coast Guard Station, tests confirmed that the seized material weighed 1,235 kilograms or approximately 1.36 tons.
Colombia is a major producer of cocaine, contributing to 60% of the global supply, according to the BBC. The United States is the largest consumer of Colombian cocaine, as reported by CBS News.
The “go fast” boats, like the one intercepted, are frequently used to transport drugs and are often customized to evade detection. These boats have been in use since the 1980s and generally make landfall in Mexico, from where the drugs are transported into the U.S.
In addition to “go fast” boats, “narco submarines” are also used to transport drugs. The Colombian Navy has intercepted 228 such vessels in the past three decades. In 2023 alone, at least 13 “narco subs” have been prevented from reaching their intended destinations. These vessels often stay low in the water to evade detection.
Earlier in May, Colombian authorities seized the largest “narco sub” ever recorded, measuring 100 feet long and 10 feet wide and carrying three tons of cocaine. Two weeks later, another semi-submersible vessel carrying over 5,000 pounds of cocaine, valued at $81 million, was intercepted. Attempts by the crew to sink the sub and the drugs were unsuccessful, leading to their arrest.
So far this year, the Colombian Navy has seized a total of 265 tons of cocaine, as announced on Thursday.