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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2614

Sri Lankan with three others are caught transporting 3 tons of Cocaine in a strange submarine off the coast of Costa Rica

By Walter Jayawardhana

Bogotá, 21 November, ( Reports from Costa Rica in Central America said that a strange locally fabricated submarine transporting three tons of Cocaine was caught by authorities with a Sri Lankan national, two Colombians and a Guatemalan.

The unique 50 foot long underwater transporting vessel is made of wood and fiber glass and the men traveling inside were breathing through pipes jutting out of water, the authorities said.

Fernando Berrocal, the Security Minister of Costa Rica said seizing of the strange craft became possible since the submarine could be identified by the three breathing pipes which were mysteriously skimming the ocean top surface.

Since the men were arrested in the international waters, they were taken to the United States for prosecution.

The strange craft sailed seven miles per hour just six feet beneath the sea-water, the Costa Rican Security minister told the country’s newspapers.

It is still not known the name of the Sri Lankan or the names of the others involved in the act of smuggling Cocaine.

This was not the first time the Sri Lankans were mentioned in the case of Cocaine smuggling from Columbia. Years ago a Columbian newspaper from Bogotá mentioned there was a failed attempt on the part of the Sri Lankan terrorists, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to supply guns to some Colombians and train them in warfare in exchange for Cocaine. But the newspaper said at that time the program did not go through and failed. It did not go beyond negotiations, the newspaper revealed.

The submarine was spotted on 17 November about one hundred miles off the coast, near Cabo Blanco National Park on the Nicoya peninsula of Costa Rica, the reports said.

"This was the first time in the country's history that a craft with these characteristics has been caught near the national coasts," the country’s Minister for Security said in a statement.

U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, FBI and Colombian officials aided Costa Rican authorities in the operation, Berrocal , the Minister revealed.

According to the same sources, the arresting officials took the submarine to a Costa Rican Coast Guard station and were trying to determine its origins. It was found with several tanks of petrol, but it has been found the vessel, which had a bailer to keep out water, probably did not travel far.

One aim of the investigation would be to determine whether the drug smuggling is anyway connected to terrorism.

According to Colombian Police sources smuggling Cocaine by sea has become the top method of transport in recent years, as radar systems have made it difficult to smuggle drugs in small airplanes as was done in the past.

So far this year, Costa Rican authorities have seized 18 tons of Cocaine, the Minister of Security said.

- Asian Tribune -

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