Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – Analysts say drug traffickers are shifting routes used to move drugs into the United States from the Pacific coast to the Caribbean Basin, because island nations there just are not very good at intercepting shipments, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
And they’re taking the merchandise under water.
According to a report from the Washington-based Langley Intelligence Group, or Lignet, corruption in Venezuela and its lack of counternarcotic assistance is adding to the success of smugglers.
Lignet asserts that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his inner circle – including the Venezuelan military – are very much involved in the drug trade.
“Since 2010, SOUTHCOM (U.S. Southern Command) has witnessed an increase in drug transshipment activity in the Venezuelan Orinoco River Delta,” the report said. This included the discovery of a boatyard in the delta which was building submersibles and found a completed semi-submersible packed with its payload of drugs.
Venezuela also is the location of the narco-subs which not only are transporting drugs into the U.S. but “surreptitiously transport Iranian or Venezuelan terrorists into the United States,” the report warned.
“The heat signatures of the exhaust of the semi-submersible submarines often give them away to U.S. Navy and Coast Guard assets,” the report said.
“But a fully submersible craft such as the one found in Ecuador in 2010 can travel silently below the surface on its batteries. And the underwater acoustics of the Caribbean Sea would make it extremely difficult to detect, especially with its Kevlar and carbon fiber hull. Sub heat signature would be minimal and the vessel would be able to travel completely underwater through the Caribbean Sea from eastern South America to the Gulf of Mexico.”
The fully submersible drug submarines reportedly cost $1 million each, are 100 feet long, can carry some five crew members and have a range of 6,800 miles, can travel submerged for 18 hours and can operate at a depth of 65 feet. They also can go for 10 days without refueling.
Under those circumstances, any advanced submarine could evade detection to transport drugs or terrorists – including those of the Venezuelan-backed Columbian FARC terrorist group – from Venezuela to Florida or elsewhere on the Gulf or East coast of the U.S.
Given the recognition of Venezuela’s involvement in this activity, there is added concern due to the lack of resources by the U.S. to track the advanced submarines.
“Drug cartels are increasingly favoring routes through the Caribbean and its islands over routes through the Pacific,” the report said. “U.S. and international drug interdiction efforts cannot keep up with the use of the Caribbean routes.”
There certainly will be no cooperation from the Venezuelan government, especially since its military is involved, according to Lignet.
“The use of drug subs in the Caribbean will therefore likely increase in the coming years,” the report said, “increasing the quantity of illegal drugs and also increasing the possibility of terrorists entering the continental United States at its southernmost points.”
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