It seems strange to think that a drug cartel might have a research and development lab just to come up with new ways to get drugs across the border. In fact, some of them do – as do other kinds of smugglers – in their never ending quest to get high value, illegal goods around the law. Extreme Smuggling airing Monday, January 14 at 8/7c will shine a light on the dangerous world of smugglers who resort to increasingly inventive contraptions and diabolical methods to ply their craft.
In the first episode, former smugglers, law enforcement and military professionals who have literally seen it all will give first-hand accounts of semi-submersibles, ultralight planes, rigged cars, underground tunnels, and catapults which have been used to get drugs across the border. Plus, there are the stories behind human and even animal drug mules that are forced to take the ultimate risk by swallowing drugs and coming across the border.
With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake with every shipment that successfully makes it across the border, it is little wonder that cartels employ people who think of new ways to move high quantity shipments. Advancements in technology and the persistence of the law enforcement community force unbelievable new inventions to house and transport drugs. A perfect example is the shift from using high speed cigarette boats – no longer the fastest craft on the oceans – to homemade semi-submersibles and submarines.
In the rivers in and around Cartegena, Columbia drug enforcement agencies from Columbia and the U.S. have found the bare-bones, hand built semi-subs and submarines now appearing on the scene. Incredibly, these semi-subs are built from just fiberglass and Kevlar designed to attain maximum speeds while submerged under or slightly above the surface – just enough for the pilot to see where they are going.
Inside the hollow submersible it’s an empty shell built for a maximum haul and not for the safety or comfort of those making the trip. In an incredible bust captured on film, one of the new semi-submersibles – dubbed the “Bigfoot” of the seas due to their elusive nature is finally captured in the Caribbean. These craft are fast and often are able to evade radar in a way traditional boats can’t, but the boat in the Caribbean was randomly spotted by a plane doing random patrols. At the end of the day after a dramatic sea and air intervention the craft was stopped and crew and cocaine was retrieved – much after a dangerous underwater dive after the craft sunk.
The take at the end of the day? Approximately 6.4 metric tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of $180 million.
The next evolution for drug smugglers is already on the horizon as agents have found fully operational submarines ready to take over from the semi-submersibles. They may not be state-of-the-art or safe, but they can carry incredible loads. Factor in that the sea is not the only route for drug smugglers and you are guaranteed to see increasingly bizarre methods of transportation to circumvent the law.
The premiere episode of Extreme Smugglers airing Monday, January 14 at 8/7c will reveal even more methods used to move tons of product by air and by land, guaranteed to shock viewers with the twisted lengths that are employed. Plus, be sure to tune in the every Monday at 8/7c through February 4th as Extreme Smugglingtells the stories of devious methods employed to smuggle everything from weapons to exotic animals, and the dedicated agents who stand ready to thwart the twisted plots!