Pubdate: Wed, 20 Sep 2000
Source: Daily Southtown (IL)
Copyright: 2000 Daily Southtown
Contact:  6901 W. 159th St., Tinley Park, IL 60477
Fax: (708) 633-5999
Author: James E. Gierach


The drug business is so lucrative that drug cartels can afford custom-built
drug submarines to ship their wares. Everyone knows that the drug war puts
more drugs everywhere on land and sea, but not everyone knows that it also
puts drugs by the ton under the high seas.

Take a chief of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for example. Drug-subs are
apparently news to him. Leo Arreguin, the DEA chief in Colombia, commented
about the recently discovered half-built, 100-foot mountain-bound, drug-sub
outside Bogota: "In the 30 some-odd years I have been in law enforcement I
have never seen anything like this."

Mr. Arreguin apparently missed the news some years ago. In September 1994,
the Reuters news service reported that subs were the hottest thing in drug

The 1994 report was prompted by the seizure of a radar-guided mini-submarine
capable of smuggling three tons of narcotics out to sea. The little 30-foot
drug-sub was designed for a three-man crew. The newly discovered 100-foot
Noah's Ark II drug-sub is capable of transporting an estimated 200 tons of
cocaine at a crack.

Why the bigger subs? According to U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey, cocaine
production in Colombia is "exploding."

The late Amado Carrillo Fuentes, "Lord of the Skies," used to have cocaine
tonnage flown into the U.S. in 747s. The late Al Capone had Canadian whisky
shipped by truck. Colombian prohibition chieftains are using submarines.

American drug policy attracts drugs by the ton for prosecution by the gram 
by land, sea and air. Not smart.

James E. Gierach, Oak Lawn
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