El Salvador detained three Ecuadorians who were transporting three tons of cocaine in a narco-submarine

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Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele announced the capture on his social media. The drug would be valued at USD 77 million

El Salvador detained three Ecuadorians who were transporting three tons of cocaine in a narcosubmarine

By

Yalilé LoaizaFrom Quito

El Salvador arrested three Ecuadorians who transported three tons of cocaine in a narco-submarine

The Salvadoran Navy apprehended the traffickers and the president of that country announced the news. (Nayib Bukele)

The President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, reported that the Navy of his country intercepted a vessel and seized 3.1 tons of drug transported by three Ecuadorians in the waters of the Central American country.

According to the Salvadoran president, this is the largest seizure ever made by his administration so far in 2022. According to Bukele, this discovery occurred 470 nautical miles from the port of Acajutla, located in the province of Sonsonate, 83 km by road from San Salvador, the capital of the Central American country. The maritime midpoint between Ecuador and El Salvador is 582 nautical miles.

Through his Twitter account, the president of El Salvador confirmed that “our Naval Force has just make another massive drug seizure. 470 nautical miles or 870 kilometers southwest of the Port of Acajutla. They intercepted an LPV with 3 Ecuadorians on board and 3.1 tons of cocaine, valued at 77 million dollars”.

El Salvador detained three Ecuadorians who were transporting three tons of cocaine in a narcosubmarine

Three Ecuadorians were detained in the sea of ​​El Salvador with drugs. (Nayib Bukele)

The LPV is a semi-submersible unit known for being a low-profile vessel, so named because it sails just above the waterline, making it difficult to spot in the water. This ship, literally translated into Spanish as “low-profile boat” according to the specialized portal Hisutton directed by the expert in marine technology H.I. Shuton, ensures that, due to their nature, they are not completely submerged in water. On the contrary, due to their fibrous composition, they float right on the sea. This is essential so that they are extremely difficult to see and are easily confused with the waves of the ocean.

Most of these boats are mass-produced in secret craft workshops inside the Colombian jungle, as Shuton has been able to verify in his book Narco Submarines: Covert Shores Recognition Guidepublished in 2020. This means that nearly identical copies of the same model are continuously produced in batches over the years and are destined for the exact same purpose.

But El Salvador intercepts more and more of these models, especially from the coasts of Ecuador. Almost a year ago, on December 27, 2021, President Bukele himself confirmed on Twitter: “Our Naval Force has just made the largest drug seizure in the Territorial Control Plan, surpassing the record of a few weeks ago: they are 4,156 kilos of cocaine valued at approximately 103 million 900 thousand dollars or approximately 2,050 bitcoins.”

El Salvador detained three Ecuadorians who were transporting three tons of cocaine in a narcosubmarine

The LPV is a semi-submersible unit known for being a low-profile vessel, so named because it sails just above the waterline, making it difficult to detect in the water. (Nayib Bukele)

On that occasion, Bukele indicated that “the drug was in two LPVs (Low Profile Vessels), both of which were intercepted by our Tridente Naval Task Force. One 406 nautical miles (751 km) and the other 430 nautical miles (796 km) south of Punta Remedios, Acajutla. 5 Colombians and 2 Ecuadorians were arrested.” Again, this time, the intervention was in Acajutla and once again Ecuadorians were detained in the operation.

President Bukele assured that “ the drug traffickers sank the boat, but our troops managed to recover the drugs, so that they cannot be rescued later by the drug traffickers,” the president continued, offering his explanation along with some photographs of the blocks of drugs stamped with the symbols of a crown, a star and the image of an airplane pilot.

This seizure represents a new and more accurate blow to drug trafficking in the region.

Ecuador has become a key country for drug trafficking. Although not considered a producer, the Andean country is among the two largest cocaine producers in the world, Colombia and Peru. According to a United Nations report, Ecuador is the third country on the planet that has seized the most cocaine. The main destination of these substances is the United States and Europe.