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Cocaine backpacks: Undersea smuggling ring, 1 ton of cocaine found off shoreline

Cocaine backpacks discovered this week off the shoreline of Spain have revealed over 1 ton of cocaine in what appears to be an undersea smuggling ring. Spanish authorities were said to have fished out dozens of these drug-filled backpacks from shallow waters, netting a massive amount of cocaine and bringing to light a highly advanced illicit operation. CNN reveals this Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, that a complex system of flotation devices and airtight bags were used to transport the cocaine to their desired location before being intercepted by national officers.

Underwater channel used to transport goods
Photo Share, Shutterstock

These cocaine backpacks are still under close scrutiny by security officials, but it appears that well over 1 ton of cocaine (roughly equivalent to 2,000 pounds of the drug) were packed inside dozens of sophisticated backpacks. The aquatic transportation devices are said to be an integral part of an undersea smuggling ring that was only recently (and literally) brought to the surface.

An advanced flotation system was used to keep these packs just below the water’s surface, and prevented them from sinking. The Civil Guard of Spain confirmed this Monday in a formal report that a total of 37 packs were recently searched and seized by government law enforcement officials. The cocaine backpacks were apparently tagged with complex satellite tracking devices and held a full 900 kilograms of cocaine within airtight bags.

According to the press release, these aquatic smugglers were using the new submersible packs to transport the drugs from Malaga and Valencia and back, not far from the shoreline. Spain’s national police force said that the country’s Mediterranean coast was being used as an actual drug trafficking path — one entirely underwater. Investigators have since been able to track the suspects involved in the illegal cocaine operation, and have so far made a total of five major arrests.

In addition to the cocaine backpacks and undersea smuggling ring, Spanish authorities made a number of other interesting discoveries linked with the submersible objects as well.

“Police forces seized 72,000 euros ($97,000), three vehicles and an unspecified vessel in the raids. They also impounded jewelry and luxury watches, stolen computer equipment and cell phones.”

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