“Police seize underwater drones from drug dealers for the first time” –Der Spiegel

A view across the Strait of Gibraltar taken from the hills above Tarifa, Spain. Photo by Rob3fish at en.wikipedia

Der Spiegel reports that Spanish police have arrested eight and confiscated six underwater drones. The drones were being used to transport drugs from Morocco to Spain across the Straits of Gibraltar.c

Thanks to Sven for bringing this to my attention. 

“Bad Jizz: New Generation Of Narco Submarine Builders Present A Problem” –Covert Shores

Caption from Covert Shores: A new type of ‘narco submarine’ captured by USCG Cutter Active in the Easter Pacific Ocean, May 5, 2021. There is enough that is distinct to give it a fresh family designation, LPV-OM-VSV-10. Although it appears well finished, as far as these things go, many details seem borrowed from other types. The unusual reinforced cockpit leading edge is strongly reminiscent of the LPV-IM-14 and related LPV-IM-VSV-1 types for example. But other features do not match that master boat builder. New narco submarine types are increasingly often copies of various features of established types.

Civilian analysist H. I. Sutton, who has spent a great deal of effort tracking the development of ocean smuggling craft, feels we may be seeing a change in how, and by whom, they are being built.

Narco submarine production may have entered a new phase. After the period of Productionization, we are now seeing greater variance again. This suggests more one-off vessels and, likely, more people designing and building them. It can be characterized as a Commoditization of narco submarine technology.

From the Coast Guard’s perspective, this may not make much difference on the interdiction side, but it may make it more difficult for our partners to attack the problem from shore side.

“Rare Fully-Submersible Narco Submarine Captured In Colombia” –Covert Shores

Apparently fully submersible narco-sub. Source: Covert Shores

H. I. Sutton’s “Covert Shores” reports discovery of an apparently fully submersible narco-sub.

 “Early indications are that it is a fully-electric device. It may have been intended to be towed some of the way.”

The Covert Shores post has some original art work that better reveals the configuration along with more photos.